Steve Mojica is the Technical Advisor for Senhoa's preschool programs, Lotus Kids’ Club. As a social worker with 20 plus years of experience working with young children and families, he has been devoting his expertise for the past three years to our foundation. Below, he describes that delightful moment when a kid latches onto uncharted territory and is rendered speechless, granting only a simple one-word interjection, by a new discovery that lays before his or her eyes.
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I have mostly spoken about the Pre-school Program at Lotus Kids Club. Our Afternoon Community Program is thriving also. It is a very challenging program as it is a drop-in program for children of all ages. So you can imagine the struggles we have had in providing activities of interest for the varied ages. And to be truthful my expertise lies with pre-school age kids. Over the years I have fortunately done some work with older children. I have learned a lot at LKC. And it can be, surprisingly to me, quite satisfying and fun.
The youth that attend LKC are enthusiastic and hungry for knowledge and new experiences. We want to make the program interesting and create an environment for them that encourages discovery and learning. We want to expose them to a world they have yet to have discovered. How cool it is to hear exclamations as a youngster looks through a microscope for the first time and see the intricacies of a butterfly’s wing and exclaims “Wow!” Most of our teachers in fact have never looked through a microscope to see the amazing wonders of nature. It’s a wow moment when a child balances a gyroscope on a pencil tip and then learns it can be done on a tight string also.
We were donated books with stunning photos of nature and animals from local NGOs. Many wows are exclaimed as the youth poured over the photos. I believe new worlds open up for them when they see the most amazing photos of the frozen northern and southern tips of the world, especially having never seen actual snow. Seeing animals and plants they could never have imagined is thrilling. We introduce them to games and activities that will stretch their imaginations, inspire creativity and encourage critical thinking. We want them to realize that there are opportunities in many fields of study in the world for them. We hope that they see it is possible to follow their interests and they that have choices. Once they understand this they will have dreams and goals that will more likely lead them to a fulfilling life. They will see and experience more “wow moments,” throughout their lives.