Children’s Voices from the Studio

These are stories about Santa Maria Urban Ministry from the children of the SMUM Studio after school program.  SMUM is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real. I interviewed the kids for SMUM’s Canticles monthly newsletter.

First is Belen who is 8 years old. Belen was born in San Jose, California and still lives here with her family. She has two sisters and two brothers. Her oldest sister is 22; Belen is the youngest. She started coming to Studio when she was 6. Belen comes back every Tuesday and Thursday for homework help because she wants to learn more. When she does not come to Studio, she stays home where it is boring and there is nothing to do. When asked what she would tell another kid about why to go to Studio, Belen said: “This is a cool place where you can do exciting things like math, computers, drawing, and much more.” Belen likes to play outside in the sand box and castle. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Next is Abigail who is 10 years old and in 4th grade.  Abigail was born in San Jose, California and still lives here with her family.  She has two younger brothers.  Abigail started coming to SMUM when she was in 3rd grade.  She comes on Thursdays for homework help to help her understand her assignments.  Other days, she stays at home and does homework or watches movies or TV.  When asked what she would tell another kid about why to go to Studio, Abigail said: “It is fun because you can have help with homework, use the computers, do math and go on trips at the end of the year. You can play with people and play different games on the computer.  The people are friendly.”  Abigail most likes to do homework, play boardgames, and play outside.  When she grows up, she wants to teach math, science, and literacy.

One of the mentor-teachers is George who is 18 years old.  He is a Senior in High School.  George lives with his parents in San Jose where he was born.  He has a little brother who is 3 and an older brother who is 22.  George needs 40 community service hours for school.  He comes to SMUM because it is close to his house and his friends told him about it.  If George was asked why someone should do community service hours at SMUM, he would say: “It’s a good place to come help because you get to mentor young children.  You can set a good example for them that hard work can help you do good in school.”  George likes to help the kids out – being like a little teacher.  He wants to be an Architect when he grows up.

Jose is Abigail’s younger brother.  He is 7 and a half years old, in the 2nd grade.  Jose was born in San Jose but his family is from Zacatecas, Mexico.  He is the middle child, his younger brother is 2 and a half and Abigail is his 9-year-old sister.  Jose started coming to SMUM last year because his friend told him about the homework program and his Mom said they could go.  “It is a good place to do homework and it is pretty fun.  There are computers and you can play on them and the Internet.”  He likes best to do his homework and use the computers.  Jose wants to be a doctor or policeman when he grows up.

The next is by Samantha who is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade.  She was born in San Jose and still lives there with her little sister and little brother and her big brother and sister.  Samantha started coming to SMUM when she was in Preschool when she was 3 years old.  She comes Tuesdays and Thursdays to do her homework, play with computers, draw, play outside and eat snacks.  She likes best to play with the computer.  “Someone can come here to do a lot of things, to have some fun.  It is not boring.”  Samantha wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

The last story is from Robert who is a mentor-teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Robert is 15 and in 8th grade.  He was born in San Jose; he has one younger  sister.  He started coming to SMUM last year.  He helps with the warehouse and after school programs.  Robert knows Rev. Lawrence Robles and goes to Trinity church where Father Lawrence works.  SMUM is close to Robert’s house.  Robert likes to work in the warehouse filling boxes with  cans and fresh food for the hungry.  He likes to play handball with the other mentor-teachers, play Uno, and use the computers.  “Come to SMUM Studio to catch up with your homework if your parents don’t know how to speak English.  It’s hard to do homework without parents or brothers to help, to support you. ”  Robert wants to be a cop or secret agent when he grows up.

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Images Copyright 2010 Katy Dickinson

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