Neighbors in Action is settling into the rhythms of fall with a full schedule of activities and programs for children, teenagers and parents. NIA has expanded its programs this school year to include a second Kids Bible study so that we provide classes on Monday and Tuesday nights. NIA also offers guitar classes on Tuesday afternoons and Friday night cooking classes, hosted by both Port Houston volunteers and volunteers from across the city. Port Houston teenagers meet for Bible study on Wednesday nights and also get together on Thursday nights for service projects at Star of Hope, as well as movie nights and fellowship time. This dynmaic group of young people also serves at the Houston Food Bank once a month. Often, the group joins the First Methodist Youth Group for worship on Sunday mornings and youth retreats. At the same time, NIA is continuing its computer class for adults, which meets twice a week for three hours. One of our highlights is the Moms' Small Group, where mothers from the Port Houston neighborhood get together on Monday mornings to sing songs of worship, share their faith, and read the Bible together. Fun, fellowship, and learning abound! And most importantly, lives are being changed.
On October 11, Neighbors in Action took 70 children plus their parents to the Children's Museum. "Oohs" and "ahhhs" could be heard from every corner as the children explored the various exhibits, experienced games, competed in quizzes, and scoured every nook and cranny of the museum in a Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Many thanks to the Children's Museum for their collaboration with Neighbors in Action, making our organization an Open Door Partner which allowed free entry to the museum for all our participants. A special thanks also goes to Jim Adler and Associates for sponsoring bus transportation and buying lunch for everyone. Through their generosity, the rich learning experience of the Children's Museum has been made available to the young people of Port Houston.
On November 1, eleven volunteers from Lakewood United Methodist Church came to Port Houston to repair the home of an elderly couple in the neighborhood. The group replaced windows, built new stairs, repaired the roof and cleaned the yard. The homeowners were very grateful for the support, "This is such a blessing for us!" Thank you, Lakewood UMC, for your time, dedication, and generosity to make this project possible.
On October 25, church members from West University UMC hosted a Fall Festival in the Port Houston community park. The kids were entertained with games, crafts, and Bible stories while they stuffed themselves with candy and snacks! Neighbors in Action is so very thankful for your on-going support and we look forward to having you back in Port Houston soon.
Since the beginning of this school year, Neighbors in Action has hosted a new program called HIPPY - Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters - at our community center. HIPPY is a school-readiness program offered by HISD that helps parents prepare their preschool child for academic success via home visits. The goal is to empower parents of preschoolers to assume their role as being the primary educators of their children and to foster parent involvement in school and community life. HIPPY serves as a means to maximize the chances of successful early school experiences for our children. Classes are being held at NIA several days a week.
On November 7, Neighbors in Action participated in the Port Houston Elementary Fall Festival with a face painting booth to support the school's fundraising efforts for its annual College Tour in May. Our volunteers did an awesome job conjuring hearts, flowers, butterflies, and Superman masks on the faces of more than one hundred children. Thanks to everyone who came out to help!