Afterschool Program Broadens Students’ Horizons
November 15, 2018
Written By Adam Buckallew
Every day after school, about 50 children from Chillicothe, Mo., arrive at the North Missouri Center for Youth and Families. The kids range from kindergarteners to eighth graders, but they all take part in the center’s PowerUP! Afterschool program, which provides a nurturing environment for tutoring, help with homework, enrichment activities and a daily meal.
The program’s goal is to empower youth to reach their full potential, and the children can choose from a number of options beyond academic support.
“We want the kids we work with to grow, explore and to gain exposure to potential new interests,” says Maizey Knifong, the center’s executive director. “So we try to provide the kids with opportunities to do things they might not otherwise be able to do.”
Hands-on activities like cooking, gardening, sports, photography and sewing are some of the options kids can choose to do at the center. Whether it’s growing watermelons and jalapeños in one of 18 gardening beds, building iPad-controlled robots or more traditional arts and crafts activities, a wide variety of experiences are available to broaden students’ horizons.
“The kids we work with are at an impressionable time in their lives, so it’s important that they have a safe, positive place where they can develop and grow to be successful in the future,” Knifong says.
The MFA Oil Foundation recently presented a grant to the North Missouri Center for Youth and Families to pay for a sign that was hung on the building’s exterior. Knifong says the sign was much needed and will help parents locate the center more easily and build awareness with community members.
“We’re appreciative of the support from the MFA Oil Foundation,” Knifong says. “Grants and donations are what keep us going. We also welcome volunteers and in-kind donations. Our kids can find uses for a lot of different things.”
The MFA Oil Foundation is committed to assisting rural communities by donating resources to non-profit organizations dedicated to education, youth, human services and civic endeavors.
You can learn more about the MFA Oil Foundation’s grant program, including eligibility and application guidelines.