Each year since 1996, a large number of Hannibal, Mo., youth have participated in Kids In Motion (KIM), a summer pre-employment training program that teaches at-risk youth some skills needed to become successful adults.
In recent years the KIM program, which is affiliated with Douglass Community Services in Hannibal, has been expanded to include Louisiana, Mo., and Bowling Green, Mo. This summer a total of nearly 100 students in all three cities will participate in this four-day a week, nine-week program, which begins June 3.
New activities are added each year, and this summer the Hannibal youth will meet a Secret Service agent. Amy Vaughn, KIM program director, said Bryan Todd Perry, a SS agent in Washington, D.C., will present two programs at the First Presbyterian Church in Hannibal. Dates will be announced, and the public is invited to attend.
Perry is from Northeast Missouri, Vaughn said. “He graduated from South Shelby High School. He aspired to be a Secret Service agent, and he has accomplished that goal. ... He will talk to the kids about the role of the Secret Service and also about aspiring to live up to your dreams and not giving up, despite your obstacles.”
KIM kids will be in their first Marion County Relay For Life on Friday, June 7, in Palmyra, and they will also donate the money they raise doing vehicle window washing, Vaughn reported.
The KIM kids also will help with Hannibal’s new community garden. and they will attend a gardening class.
In Bowling Green they will make cards for hospice patients, with a professional in charge. In Louisiana they will host a brunch for the women in a church who have helped with KIM meals each year.
Vaughn described KIM as “a pre-employment service training program for at-risk youth. We teach work ethics and responsibility through service, and hopefully prepare these kids for their first real job.”
They have an opportunity to earn money, she added. The program “simulates the benefits of a real job. The pay is based on a daily evaluation by their supervisor. They are graded on their performance and attitude, and their compensation reflects that. ... We have high expectations for these kids, and we hold them to really high standards, and most of them live up to that standard and even more.”
KIM kids are selected through referrals from school districts, juvenile justice offices and counselors centers. Students in Hannibal will be from sixth-graders to age 15, and Vaughn encourages them to stay in the program for more than one year. She reported that in Hannibal “half of our 2013 kids are returning.”
KIM kid returning
Vaughn is pleased to report that “for the first time, we have a past KIM kid returning as a supervisor.” She is Destiny Roth, currently attending Culver-Stockton College. “We are really excited to have her come back and join us.”
Page 2 of 3 - Carrie Wolfmeyer and Caroline Barrettsmart also are Hannibal supervisors. Both helped last year.
In Bowling Green, Amy Becker is returning after formerly leading KIM kids in 2008, and Heather Spegal will be a supervisor for the fourth year. Amelia Wallace, a college student, will lead the Louisiana program.
Vaughn is pleased with the Hannibal organizations that sponsor special KIM events. “We have been blessed with organizations that want to help us have a little fun,” she said. “Parks & Rec is donating passes for a pool party, and Hannibal Regional Medical Group is sponsoring KIM Night at a Cavemen game, complete with food, drinks and an air-conditioned suite for two nights.”
One new project - a pumpkin patch - is planned with the Participants of Public Service (POPS) club, which is providing the land. When the pumpkins are sold in the fall, the club will make a donation to KIM from the proceeds.
KIM kids will also continue with their usual projects, including helping at nursing homes and planting flowers for community beautification. “We have a full calender,” Vaughn said.
Donations are always welcome, she said. “We always need help with funding, since we don’t apply for government funding.” Anyone interested in supporting the KIM program may contact her at DCS. Donations may be sent to Kids In Motion, 711 Grand Ave, Hannibal, MO 63401, and should designate which city the donation is supporting.
The end of summer celebrations are already scheduled, and the public is invited. In Hannibal it will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, at First Presbyterian Church.
In Bowling Green it will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, at Second Baptist Church.
In Louisiana it will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the First Christian Church.
Vaughn believes “this program is life-changing for everyone involved in it.” She added that “we continue to do things through the year.
“Our kids complete service projects during the school year that they don’t receive any money for,” she said. “They do them because it’s the right thing to do. They stuff Buddy Packs through FACT office,” sending food home with students for weekends. “They love doing it.
“For several years we have partnered with Oakwood Christian Church to shop and wrap gifts for the adopt a family program. The church provides the money. This year I had 19 show up to go shopping for a needy family.
“Anytime I need anything, I have kids that are willing to help and want to help,” she said. “They have helped with DARE dance concessions. And they help every year with the General Mills employee company store sale.”
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