The purpose of the Kids University (KU) is to help children in our community learn the aspects of good nutrition, strengthen academic skills, and to foster teamwork as they work together developing a student garden.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Wrapping Up our 7th Spring Season

All sorts of thoughts raced through my mind as we wrapped up another semester last night at Kids University.  .  .  I've been touched with nostalgia all day.  Seven years ago we began in February.  We have shared our vision and passion with 12 Facilitators who have stood with us for several years and partnered together with over 150 TCC interns.  We share a common passion of helping children at risk, we get close to our interns as we plan programs and watch the kids progress. In a very short time the semester is over and they move on, leaving their mark on us and the children.  Several return for other semesters and the kids are thrilled.
Our sixteen interns spent time hugging their kiddos and telling them goodbye. . .  This has been a superb intern group -- many of whom had returned for their 2nd semester.

Joshua, Jace, and Blair are the epitome of calm as they work with our kiddos in Carpentry
Projects were created and completed -  Thanks Josh and Jace for creatively improvising with the youngest, most active and largest group for their first and only time in carpentry.

Dylan has served as my personal assistant as he helped keep our groups in line, assisted Mrs. Lora and made certain that we were well maintained as we left for the night.

Sugaring up the kids with donuts from Mr. Tin and an ice cream party the kids had earned for following careful instructions on riding the van home.

Mrs. Janet and Laurel have creatively led art sessions for each of the children -- both women are artists in the truest sense of the word, and Mrs. Janet comes up with the best ideas and teaching!

We have seen the strength in dividing the KU students into teams with the two interns over each group.  The kids have grouped by grade in school and they have shown marked improvement!

Thank you Mrs. Paula, Kennedy, and Lucas for keeping our little ones involved and safe.  You make it easier for all of us by serving in our nursery.
Grant has been waiting all semester for his turn at Foods Lab.

 Foods lab is a favorite with all our kids!  Special thanks to Mrs Lora and Mr. Randy for making this such a fun time for our kids!
Jennifer and Codi connected from the first night and have been "best buds"

 SEW special!!!!   Leah McGlothlin, you're a rock!  With six kids all hollering "help me, help me" you quietly and patiently handle each child at a time.  There you are -- cornered with several all needing help and you made sure they ALL got to leave with finished projects.

Abe and Jennifer led our pre-session activities and planned some fun time outdoors for our interns to pair off with children and play.

These two get us checked in and keep us safe--

We're taking a sabbatical . . . not sure our next start-up time as Mr. Terry will need some time for healing his back and leg issues.  'Missing the kiddos already -- thinking of ways to resolve certain behavior issues -- how do we keep them from stealing each other's reward points????  --- how can we impress on them the importance of telling the truth ALWAYS? --- what are the best ways to keep them safe as we take them home?  What are ways to reach the entire family and help these kids navigate the teen years?
God knows - we're asking Him.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Seasons of Growth

This Month we are beginning our 7th year of Kids University.  We had a great Fall Semester running from Sept. 11- November 20.  Our semesters coordinate with the TCC calendar.  Our interns were dedicated and hard-working.  They fell in love with the kids and made certain that they were there each week.  A few pics from the fall:


We hear such things from our interns as - "this program has turned my life around"-- often they ask if they can return for a second semester.  We have had some interns drive for an hour to come and serve our kids.  Of course, that is a win-win for all of us.

We began our Spring Semester on Jan. 24 with 20 children ages K-5th grade and this week welcomed 26.  15 interns have asked to work with us this semester and are bringing lots of enthusiasm to the program.
The students all check in with Mr. John and Mr. Keith helps to keep them safe.

The students are divided up into age- appropriate teams this semester and are enjoying the competitve spirit of excelling as a group.  Every three weeks they will get to move to a new activity to experience all the labs.

This team of 4th graders are being introduced to their new interns during our first night.

The kids are getting to cook with Mr. Randy and very quickly they learn of his big heart!

Mrs. Janet always has the most thought out plans and this has been our biggest team yet -- 12  K-2nd graders painting!!!  Fall Intern Laurel has returned this semester and brought her sister Heather to help.

We have our most active 3rd grade boys starting in sewing . . . hmmmm kind of scary when they race their machines!
Leah McGlothlin is my helper and helps to hold it all together when it becomes like "Crazytown" in there.

Josh McGlothlin who is a cabinet-maker has devised a plan
for the students to make themselves desks. -- Totally donating all he supplies and prepping the desk.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Summer Six -

To build these character traits we centered this summer's activities around the Fruits of the Spirit.
This summer semester was six weeks of fun as we directed activities towards growing in character and treating each other with kindness.
Mercedes and Mylea sharing teamwork in the Faithfulness shirt

Arts and crafting with old CDs and Buttons

Choosing JOY in serving as we made blessing bags for the homeless

Serving others brings out the happiest of times for each KU Kiddo

Mrs. Missy is a pro at helping us create 9-patch squares with our names.

Spelling it out- the trait we best show in our lives.

Josh and Mr. Randy helped their would-be carpenters make the most awesome cutting boards.
Christian's response, "I'm passing this on to my kids some day."  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring Semester - In the Books

24 kids and 10 interns and 12 adult facilitators

The picture above shows our awesome interns -- they were God - sent and I don't say that lightly.

It was a rowdier evening --A few things I learned --
 1. Groups - groups -- groups keep the evening saner
 2.  Even the big people like ice cream 
 3.  Kids LOVE Gak!!
 4.  Doing an art type project with 24 at once is crazy but they did love making a coupon book for their mommas
 5. The kids were touched by the letters from their interns.  Watching them open their envelopes with anticipation was touching.  Several of their Intern buddies had written their notes days ahead of time.
6. We're all ready to rest between semesters - to re-group- renew- plan and recycle our energy! LOL

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Finishing Strong

As we wrap up our Spring Semester, our theme is "Finishing Strong".  We posed several challenges to our students and with the intern's help were able to help our KU students strive to give their best performance at the various physical contests.  We then discussed who it is that wants us to finish strong as we wrap up our school year.  Their college helpers organized a challenge run with plenty of cheers and bravos along the way.

The students were reminded that the kind of dedication and commitment that they have experienced with their TCC "Buddies" is what it takes to finish strong.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Last night Officer Steve Dickson, the father of our intern, Justice Dickson came to visit us and share with our KU kids important ideas of personal safety.  A long-time member of the Tulsa Police force, Officer Dickson explained to them how important it is to remember that those people who LOOK the safest may not BE safe people to trust.
We got to ask all sorts of questions.  We especially liked hearing about his canine partners

We thought the squad car was the neatest!!!

We left knowing that we were well protected by our Tulsa Police Force!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Welcome 2017 - A Shout Out to BeSew Inn

Kids University began its 6th year with our Spring Session on Jan. 11, welcoming a full house of 18-24 students each week. Twelve TCC Interns joined our ranks on Jan 18th and were met eagerly by our KU Kids!  Each semester the students look forward to the new friendships that form between them and these dedicated college students. 

Students start the evening checking in with Mr. John and shirting up with Mrs. Janet.

They then move to Round-up and Academics with Mrs. Jan and Mr. Terry.  Not all our children arrive on time but we gladly enlarge our circles to include them!
 This year we have four centers to choose from:  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Activities, Carpentry, Sewing & Foods Lab.  It's a hard choice!

Our college students assist in all of the activities and carry out the games with loads of energy. The one -on-one mentoring in the academic tutoring, STEM challenges and the various group sessions are such tremendous confidence builders for these children.

The tower challenge captivated our students interest for a long period of time.
Boat building and buoyancy with Mrs. Janet (our retired Jenks Science & English Teacher -- we ALL learn from her)
We paired up interns and students to build the best boats!

Austin and Mr. John (a retired engineer & winning soccer coach) test the weight of the bridge students built in a STEM activity.

Not all our STEM projects perform as anticipated.  Watching the children's eyes as they wait for the outcome and test the strength of their project, competing with the other students is priceless.  Winning brings no other reward than just knowing you and a TCC "Buddy" used your creative skills to master a plan!

Mr. T and the PVC
BSew Inn responding to a grant request, supplied 6 GREAT sewing machines - fully serviced and ready to use.  Our students are enjoying the experience of learning to sew and are eager to start their pillow projects.  We are forever grateful and overwhelmed at their generosity!!

Missy Torres graciously gave us three wonderful machines from her collection! 

 Mrs. Janet and Missy are experts at helping these young girls learn to manipulate their machine, practice stitching while staying safe at the same time. Our young men are asking when THEIR turn will be at the machines.

With carpentry skills they have learned, these youngsters are more confident with a saw and nail gun.  They are extremely proud of their bird houses as a young artist comes in and helps them stencil and paint them.  

All our KU Kids enjoy Foods Lab where they prepare the snack for all the students and Interns.

Terry and Andrew, one of our interns, have been building a Wikiup to help our KU Kids learn about early Native American housing.  We share property on 28 wooded acres and this enables these children a safe and beautiful place to explore and enjoy God's wonderful creation.

We now have our own classroom space- what we call our KU Klub House -- where all our teaching supplies can be placed and our activities are housed.  

So much fun, so much one-on-one mentoring and teaching. Students and Helpers leave each evening eager for the next session.

Special thanks to Keith and Lora Ober-Thorn, Kennedy & Lucas, Paula Miller, John and Janet Main, Randy and Josh McGlothlin, Brian Krick, Missy and Evers Torres!  We can't wait for Mrs. Mary Lou to return in mid-March.  We wouldn't have KU without all of you!!!  Justice Dickson (pictured making PBJ's in foods lab) has returned to fulfill a 2nd internship! YOU ALL ARE ROCK STARS!!!