Weekday Education’s summer program at Mills Home in Thomasville fills up quickly as the school year comes to an end. Parents know that their children will be treated to times of memory making while being well supervised. Young adults are hired to give maximum attention to participants. This year, three summer workers actually attended Weekday Education as children.
“My memories of being a little girl at Weekday Education are happy thoughts,” 19-year-old East Carolina University student Haley Garner says. “Naps with my stuffed bunnie Thumper and my best friend Katie come to mind first.”
However, one memory did not begin as a “happy”
remembrance. “Katie and I accidentaly flooded the bathroom floor,” Garner confesses. “We were so scared. I remember thinking: ‘What did we do?’”
She says what was certain to be one of the worse things that could have happened, became a great memory. “I remember the kindness our teacher showed us. I can’t even remember how it happened, but I remember vividly how we were treated.”
Garner’s mom Lynn serves at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH), so she grew up being a part of everything at Mills Home.
“My whole life I’ve seen how BCH helps others,” Garner says. “I’m serving now, and it makes me feel good. I’m thankful for BCH.”
Sydney Plummer begins her sophomore year this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“As a child attending Weekday Education, I liked a lot of things children enjoy today – swimming, field trips, playing,” Plummer says. “But what I remember most is how safe I always felt.”
Plummer says some of her closest friendships were made while attending the program. “It feels like we have been friends forever. We graduated high school together.”
She says it was an easy decision to become a summer worker. It was a decision that has reaped unexpected rewards.
“The children make me feel very loved,” Plummer says. “In the morning, I walk down the hall and I hear ‘good mornings’ and my name being called. I’ve fallen in love with them, too.”
Hannah Enhelder turns 20 years old in September as she returns to Appalachian State University.
“I attended Weekday Education from an infant to kindergarten, and then the afterschool program,” Enhelder says. “I have remembrances of good teachers and feelings of being cared for.”
She says it is hard to remember details from her early childhood, but recalls having “lots of fun.”
“My experiences were so great,” Enhelder says. “It was easy to decide to work here this summer.”
Enhelder enjoys being around small children. She works in her church’s nursery and is majoring in elementary education.
“I hope the children’s experiences this summer will be at least as good as my childhood experiences were,” she says. “Every day, I focus on helping the children feel safe and helping them get along with each other. We all want to help so they look forward to coming each day.”
Enhelder says she has enjoyed working with the other workers and will “definitely be applying next summer.”
Learn more about Baptist Children's Homes Weekday Education program by visiting www.weekdayeducation.org.