Johnston Jungle, a children’s outreach program at Johnston Elementary school, is in search of student volunteers that will enjoy spending time with kids and helping to create a positive environment of fun and friends.
Ann Yarbrough, the administrative coordinator for the Department of Psychology, started the search for student volunteers through her department. She has a close connection to the program through her husband, Scot Yarbrough.
She and her husband are hoping to find students that will love working with kids and that will try to develop a relationship with them. She is working on a way for students that help with the outreach program to receive chapel credit for their time.
Scot Yarbrough is the Director of Finance and Administration at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and leader for Johnston Jungle. Along with his time with this program, he also serves on the board of Connecting Caring Communities, and House of Faith.
“We want to be there for the kids every week, whether we have a short lesson, long lesson, or no lesson at all, we just want to let the kids know that we care about them,” Scot Yarbrough said.
Five years ago, St. Paul United Methodist Church adopted Johnston elementary and began their work with Johnston Jungle. It is a weekly program that takes place on Wednesdays when the children get out of class. The program’s main focus is not to get kids to church, but to let the children have fun while learning about God.
Johnston Jungle has an average of 60-65 children involved in the program every year. The reason that they are in search of more volunteers, is so that they can put the children into small groups of 5-6. The purpose of this is to let the kids develop a more personal relationship with their group leader, and so the group leader can connect well with the children. The program’s main goal is to give children the attention and positive influence that they might not otherwise receive.
Johnston Jungle does a lot more than just provide the children with a fun and positive after school experience. It also helps to provide the children at Johnston Elementary with school supplies, coats and warm clothes for the winter, and sometimes things such as backpacks, socks and shoes. The program also helps to put on the fall festival every year at Johnston Elementary.