Horton’s Kids by Karen Garnick

JLW volunteers in the Horton’s Kids Committee have many opportunities for direct interaction with students enrolled in the Horton’s Kids program, including helping with after school tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays, attending monthly field trips, and throwing Holiday parties. Every spring, JLW organizes an Easter Party for around 100 of the younger students in the program, which is approaching on Sunday, March 29th.The committee holds a meeting beforehand to map out a plan, organize supplies, and sign up for activity stations.
The day of the party, committee members arrive hours before the kids to transform the Cannon Caucus Room. They decorate the space with balloons, crepe paper, festive wall decorations, and colorful tablecloths. When the bus arrives, the kids are bouncing up and down with excitement for what lies ahead. During the party, activities are run by JLW volunteers, which include decorating cookies, face painting, making Easter bunnies from cotton balls, and guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar (the winner gets to take it home!) They are also offered a healthy lunch to balance out all the candy and sweets. One of the long-time Horton’s Kids volunteers dresses up at the Easter Bunny, which the kids absolutely LOVE. Throughout the party, the kids are taken in groups outside to hunt for Easter eggs, which is always a highlight. Horton’s Kids families live in subsidized housing in Ward 8, where it isn’t always safe for the kids to play outside, and there isn’t space for an Easter egg hunt. This event allows for a fun and safe environment for the kids to run around and play with each other, and celebrate the season.
After a few hours of sugar, games, and laughter, the kids are ready to crash. They hop on the bus and head back to their community center with bags full of candy, treats, and lots of good memories.
Horton’s Kids’ mission is to empower at-risk children and prepare them for successful and healthy lives through educational opportunities and comprehensive programs tailored to their needs. Volunteers are still the driving force behind Horton’s Kids, serving as positive role models for the children and helping the children succeed. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.hortonskids.org.