After-school program helps kids at Shepherd’s House Church

Dozens of children in eastern Durham head to Shepherd’s House Church, 107 N. Driver St.,  twice a week to learn about science, nutrition, and more. The church’s program meets for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday.

Reverend Amanda Wilson helps a student with homework.

Reverend Amanda Wilson helps a student with homework. (Staff photo by Yenifer Mendoza-Chicas)

“We have changed our focus,” said the Reverend Amanda Wilson, the program’s director. “We not only focus on homework, but we are expanding their ideas in nutrition, storytelling time, Bible stories, and learning about science and nature.”

The program, which started five years ago, is part of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, a citywide program that focuses on (among other things) preparing children for school.

“I love the excitement of kids when they are in the after-school program, and the relationships between the kids — how they want to help each other,” said Wilson.

Brandon Horton, a fourth-grader who attends Maureen Joy Charter School, has joined the crowd for the past two years.

“I like coming here because it keeps kids out of the street, and they can help me with my homework,” he said.

Nine-year-old Aaliyah Moore, a student at W.E. Smith Elementary School, agreed.

“I come every Tuesday and Thursday, but I wish that the after-school program was every day,” she said.

Ashley Harris, a student at N.C Central University, started volunteering a year ago.

“Knowing that I am helping the kids learn something new is an experience that I love,” said Harris. “Knowledge is something that can never be taken away from them.”