What began as an extra safety measure implemented by our team has become an atmosphere changing act. What simple thing could have this much impact? Meeting our kids at the bus stop.
Between the bus stop and The Rose Community Center are a few busy streets and major intersections. To ensure that our kids were reaching The Rose safely, our staff leaders Darrion and Tierre decided to surprise the kids at the bus stop and walk with them over to The Rose on the first day of our fall programming in early September. The first day they met the kids at the busy stop, the kids were a little shocked, but the shock gave way to excitement as they were welcomed gladly by our staff.
The second day of school, Darrion and Tierre again went to the bus stop and waited for the kids to arrive. It only took a few days before the kids begun to expect to see Darrion and Tierre when they got off the bus and they waited with excitement and anticipation for their stop.
For children who are raised in poverty, many things are transient. Their home many not be consistent, having food on the table may not be a given, and having parents there to welcome them home from school may be a foreign concept. By Darrion and Tierre always being at the bus stop when they arrive, there is at least one consistent thing in their day. This builds trust with the students we serve and they know that our staff are people they can count on.
As well as building trust, meeting the kids at the bus stop has increased the moral of the students which has increased their excitement for the programming we have for them after school. Having someone waiting on them when they get off the bus reminds them that they matter and that they are loved, both of which are core values of Behind Every Door.