“I found out about BCM from my sister, who had been introduced by someone at church” said Julie*, a BCM parent. She and four of her children have been with BCM for the last 13 years; the eldest is now in Lit, our high school program, while the younger ones participate in KidSmart, our after-school program for elementary students.
“When my daughter first [enrolled in BCM] she was behind in her reading,” said Julie as she discussed how English is her daughter’s second language and that she speaks Tongan fluently. Before Julie was introduced to BCM, she had her children enrolled at another local after school program but noticed that she was not seeing the improvements in her daughter’s reading skills that she knew her daughter was capable of making, so decided to give BCM a try. “BCM really helped her a lot; it did not take long to bring her up to reading at grade level.” Julie went on to discuss how her children are always telling her good things about their experience at BCM and how they are never afraid to ask for help on their homework. “BCM helps them with the classes they struggle with.”
Julie is not only a BCM parent but also an enthusiastic advocate for her friends and family whose children, she feels, could benefit from attending BCM programs. When asked if she had ever spread the word about BCM Julie excitedly responded “I did! And they came! The people I recommended to BCM have been there for a few years now.” In the past, Julie has even picked up applications and brought them to the families she was encouraging to enroll their children.
“I love how [BCM] has dance classes!” Julie said as she spoke about how her kids, who are in sports, have BCM’s dance classes as an outlet to work off some energy during their sports off seasons. She went on to say that one thing she would love to see make a return to BCM’s program agenda would be music classes as she reminisced about the time her son was taking guitar lessons through BCM.
“What BCM is doing right now is fabulous,” said Julie as we neared the closing of our conversation. In her final thoughts about why she and her children have stayed with BCM over the past 13 years, Julie said, “I just fell in love with how they treat the kids; I know they care.”
*Name change for privacy
A KidSmart students smiles for a picture during class.
KidSmart students play in the leaves during recess.
A KidSmart Student looks up from her reading to take a picture.