Feb 29, 2012

A Place To Call Our Own

The Limes Afterschool Program has struggled since its start a few years ago with where to hold class.  For some reason, many of the buildings and schools in the area have been unwilling to let us use a room for our program.  Past volunteer coordinators have asked the schools and the churches and the answer has always been a resounding NO.  Over a year ago (before I came to Grenada), Kelsey was able to get the Dynamite Disco (a local bar) to allow the Limes program to use the upstairs of their establishment.  This was helpful, but in time, new management stepped in, locks were changed, and we were forced yet again to find a new place to meet. 

At that point, the easiest answer seemed to be to meet on the public Limes field.  There are some benefits to the field, it's a large space, close to many of the kids homes, and the basketball court is just above the field.  However, whenever it rains (which is often) class was canceled.  We were caught many times in the middle of class in a sudden downpour and there were lots of distractions from local adults.

At the end of last term, Kelsey and I were approached by one of the parents of a child in our class.  She had spoken with the Limes pre-school adjacent to the field and they had agreed that if we raised the money, we could build on their property and then use if for our class.  We also had the pastor of the Limes Mennonite Church come to our rescue and agree to help us with drawing up building plans, getting estimates, and providing the labor free of charge.  With that, Kelsey and I set to work to come up with the money needed for our project.  Luckily, this was easier than we initally thought.  We had very large donations from two clubs at SGU and by this past January, we had raised the money necessary for the supplies. 

This past weekend, the men of the Limes Mennonite Church went to work building our pavillion.  I can't tell you how exciting it was to see this idea become a reality.  I was directly involved in orchestrating this project, but I know that there are lots of SO volunteer coordinators past and present who have been equally a party of this journey to our own Limes Afterschool Program spot.  We really can't thank the Mennonite Church and the Limes Pre-School enough for their generosity.

The highlight of all of this was having class yesterday for the first time in our new location.  I could tell that the kids were extra excited about having a place of their own.  We were shaded from the sun and it felt like we could keep the kids a little more under control because they are limited to the confines of the pre-school.
Completed Structure!

Working on worksheets in the shade.

Miss Allison helping with a worksheet.
Miss Yunah and the kids coloring.

Miss Julie and Chris doing puzzles.

Parachute time with Miss Jessie and Miss Laura.  Thanks Kristin for the parachute!


Obstacle course with Miss Kat!

Miss Laura and Deanna

She is just too precious for words.
Of course with this new structure comes new challenges for us as volunteers.  We are now holding class on private property and have to be much more careful about the kids behaviour.  Since throwing rocks and writing on walls are some of the kids favorite rules to break, we as volunteers have to keep a much closer eye on them.  This is of course, easier said than done.  But I am hoping that with these better enforced rules and new structure, the kids will learn to better respect the rules of class and overall, it will only make the Limes program a much better experience for everyone.

I am so excited for the future of the Limes Program and am so happy that I got to be a part of something that will be so lasting for these kids and the SO volunteers in the future.


  1. Stephanie this is amazing! I am so glad it worked out for you guys! You are truly making a difference in these kids' lives and it is so awesome to see a place of their own!

  2. :) This is great Steph!! I hope I get to see it in person in the not toooooo distant future!

  3. It looks great and I bet the structure will add structure. If ya know what I mean!

    Good job to everyone who helped get it done!

    Love you, miss you, can't wait to kiss you!