The “SKREAM After School Program” at the First Reformed Church of South River partnered with NJSNAP’s “Faithfully Fit” program to put on their end of the semester “Healthy Christmas Dinner Party and Presentation”. As all the kids worked to make the decorations, create invitations, give welcomes and serve the food, “Faithfully Fit” gave a healthy holiday eating presentations to the nearly 50 guests who attended. Those present included not only the families of SKREAM program children and “Faithfully Fit” program participants, but also many other hungry members of the community who were invited through the local food bank.
This dinner was meant to serve three important functions. The first is to help the children celebrate the end of their first semester at “SKREAM” and show off all that they had done. The second was to help each child feel the joy of service and the importance of making spaces that everyone can share together. This semester we talked a lot about bullying and making others feel welcome, this was a way to act those lessons out in real life. Lastly, this dinner was meant to offer a free meal to any hungry members of our community and let them know about what is available for their children next semester.
We were all very happy to see our kids greet and serve almost the exact number of guests that we had food donated for (50), but we were thrilled to have the chance to sit and speak to the children’s parents. Many of these parents we get to have little contact with because of their busy work schedules. They told us again and again how thankful they were for this program, the sense of safety, fun and enrichment that it provides, and how excited they were for next semester’s “Comic Book Project”. The “Comic Book Project” is a 15 week program that will walk students through writing and designing their own comic book. It is an exciting time of development and growth here at our church and it was first made possible by the granting and guiding support of the New Brunswick Classis CDC. — By Rev. Mike Ozaki