What a great day at the Church Health Center Wellness Facility! I volunteered with Child Life Education & Movement, a wellness program the CHC offers for children between the ages of six months and eleven years. Child Life is a wonderful organization and program to increase health awareness in kids, as they offer a variety of activities and classes on getting and staying healthy! The employees are dedicated not only to helping children make healthy choices but also mentoring them.
Heidi Leyshon, a ballet instructor, who has recently moved home from California, showed me around the facility. I could hear the passion in her voice for the program and how much she had missed it. As we talked a boy named Johnny ran up to her with excitement because he was seeing her for the first time since her return. Johnny has been in the Child Life program for several years and it was evident how much he adored her and that she had been a mentor to him. The Church Health Center Wellness Facility is much like a YMCA or gym facility. The biggest difference is they get referrals from doctors and have a physical therapy department. Much like the YMCA, members pay on a sliding scale based on salary, so it is feasible for most people to work out if they so desire.
With it being Easter weekend the facility was not very crowded. There were very few adults at the facility and even fewer children. At first this disappointed me because I am a hands-on kind of girl, but as the day progressed I realized there is always a purpose for everything. I had greater access to the entire staff, and was able to learn far more about the many programs offered such as dance classes, mini circuits, games, yoga, zumba, cooking classes and a lesson time for the kids to grow. My favorite part of the gym was the “Shell sized” workout equipment; also known as the mini circuit machines made to fit kids and 5”1 women like me!
I was scheduled to participate in a class called “Active Theatre” but, unfortunately, there were not enough students. This class would have been right up my alley, as I have been involved with local theatre. Instead I spent time reading to Johnny and teaching him about sitting quietly and listening to all God’s sounds around us. After the lesson, we went outside to the sensory garden and just sat quietly and reflected for a while. The garden is amazing with so much to do and see such as herbs and a fountain, which made for a very relaxing time.
I could definitely see myself volunteering here. The facility is not a daycare; it is a program that works on building the lives of children one by one. They work hard to develop good lessons and an engaging program healthy program to teach the kids how to be healthy and take care of their bodies.
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