For the past five months, seven gentlemen from this church have been joining me over at Fruitland Park Elementary every Tuesday for a program called FOCUS. It is designed to give third, fourth, and fifth grade boys the chance to have some one-on-one time with adults to talk about life. Joining us each week are several Fruitland Park Police Officers and few other gentlemen from the area. We spend 30-40 minutes talking about ideals like honesty, respect, citizenship, fairness, helpfulness, and justice.
These students are facing various struggles at home and at school and have been identified as boys that would benefit from this program. Once admitted to the program, FOCUS is then used as an incentive for the boys to behave in class, have regular attendance at school, and generally follow all school rules.
Having spent the last five months involved with this program, I can see its benefits. I am seeing boys sharing more freely in our discussions. I am hearing that they are coming to school on a more regular basis. But one of the greatest aspects of our time together, is how their view of the world is changing. They talk more about listening and helping other people, they talk more about recycling and taking care of their neighborhood, and they are discovering more ways that they can do all of these things in their own spheres of life.
These are a few of the benefits of sharing life with others. We get to hear the viewpoints of others, share with them from our experience, and at the end of the day help one another grow and expand. I have had heard from many of the adults how much they have learned from their time with the students. I have also seen the impact this program has made in that ideas for speakers and other resources are being shared as other avenues to help these students. I have seen the importance these adults have placed to make sure they are there consistently for the students in their group. And as a result, I can see the excitement on most of the faces as they enter the cafeteria for our weekly time together.
I am proud that the bulk of the men in this program are from Community. I am humbled to watch these relationships between student and mentor grow. I am excited to see how this investment is paying off in the lives of all involved. I would ask that you pray first and foremost for these young boys. Pray for safety, for health, and for continued positive influences in their lives. I would also ask that you pray for the staff, administrators, and teachers at Fruitland Park Elementary. They are the first points of contact and influence for these young people and have an incredible task before them.
It so wonderful to see how the Holy Spirit works in those moments where people come together to share life and love with those around them!
Have a great week!