Whenever I’m tempted to be discouraged by the bad things that are happening in the world, I remind myself that there are many, many good things happening as well. And one of those incredibly good things that is happening right in our community is Hangtime. Hangtime is a free after school program that we do every Wednesday from 3:30pm-5:30pm at Eastport Bible Church. It’s for K-6th Grade students and we have a lot of them.
And we also have a lot of adult leaders and teen helpers that are coming as well. On average, we have about 10 teens (most all actually, from ESM Jr. Sr. High School) that come to help out each week. They help with homework and workshops and I say quite a bit because it’s true that I really couldn’t run the program without them.
We start Hangtime out with snack time and homework time. And after that is one of my favorite parts of Hangtime which is our workshop time.
We’ve strategically made Hangtime a “screen free” program, which means that the kids aren’t allowed to be on phones or tablets during our time. For the record, not only are they fine without them, they are awesome without them.
We give the kids 45 minutes to play and a variety of activities to choose from.
Legos are always a popular choice. The kids love to build and create and pretend.
They also love to show off their creations and give great details about how everything works and every time it makes me smile.
We also have options for coloring.
And we have a dedicated team of ladies who also provide the most fun crafts each week.
This week’s theme was Valentine’s day and the kids had a lot of fun putting together a lovely project.
For the past month, we’ve had two amazing women come in and teach crocheting as well. You’d be surprised at how quickly the kids have picked it up and again, seeing kids spend their time creating is always fun to watch.
One of our most popular workshops each week is Sports and Games. I remember finding out our kids only had two gym classes a week and a pretty short recess each day. I love that our Hangtime kids get an extra 45 minutes to run around and play games and they love it as well.
At the end of Hangtime, we always have a Bible lesson time and small groups. Our goal is to encourage our kids to know that they are important and loved and that they can do great things for God. Kids need to hear good things… we all do. This past week was extra special because one of our teens helpers taught the lesson time. Jules is a Senior at ESM and I was so proud of her and loved hearing her share her heart with our students.
They enjoyed her lesson and she did an incredible job of teaching them about God’s great love for them.
And that sums up a little bit of what’s happening at Hangtime these days. For the record, we are a community program and all are welcome! A few things to note. We pick up students each week from Eastport Elementary and Tuttle Avenue School. Both schools have been amazing in working with our program and we are so thankful! We also have a Parent Room that is open from 5:00pm-5:30pm with free water bottles and hot coffee for parents. We know that they do a lot of work and wanted to offer a space for them to just sit and relax for a bit.
Finally, Hangtime is a very flexible and open program and all are welcome. Registration is quick, easy and online at www.eastportbiblechurch.com (just click on the Hangtime tab and then on the register button). Then, if your child is from Eastport or Tuttle, you just have to let the school know that they are attending Hangtime that week. If you have any questions, my name is Laura Herr and I am the Hangtime director. You can reach out to me through Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We would absolutely love to have your child join us for Hangtime!