The aroma of biscuits, homemade pasta and cake mixed with the excited voices of budding culinary masters as they worked together to make a home-cooked lunch in the kitchen of First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 20.

The aroma of biscuits, homemade pasta and cake mixed with the excited voices of budding culinary masters as they worked together to make a home-cooked lunch in the kitchen of First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 20.

Kids in Motion (KIM) Supervisor Carrie Wolfmeyer said the kids worked together to make a home-cooked lunch for guests including KIM board members, donors, police officers. She said the youth eagerly helped one another in teams, following directions during each step of the process. Along the way, the KIM members are strengthening their social skills, honing their manners and gaining skills they otherwise might not be exposed to — and appreciating the people in their lives who cook meals for them.

“Monday, my group cooked, and one of the kids said 'I really appreciate my mom cooking even more now,'” Wolfmeyer said.

Wolfmeyer joined fellow supervisor Karen Fields and First Presbyterian Church Youth Pastor and volunteer Matt Ver Meer in guiding the youth as they prepared homemade manicotti, baked and buttered Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits, mixed homemade Caesar salads, baked a French Vanilla cake topped with homemade icing and strawberry slices and served food and drinks to their guests. Fields was a KIM kid during the first class in 1996, and she said would definitely return as a supervisor next year.

Wolfmeyer said the kids look forward to the chance to make meals for each other, and they smiled and joked with one another as they buttered biscuits, whipped cream, sliced strawberries and performed all the tasks for serving lunch to a group of 50 people.

“They're wonderful,” she said. “They're always busy. I love them.” Fields agreed, starting her first year as a supervisor after she was a member of the first KIM group in 1996.

She said would definitely return as a supervisor in 2018, because “that's how awesome the program is.”

KIM kids Starr Hill and Kyliah French were busy preparing biscuits on a counter near the oven. Hill said working with fellow team members made a big difference, and she said she enjoyed making new friends and that she looked forward to seeing how guests enjoyed their meals.

“It was really easy with teamwork,” she said.

Isaac Day said he has been participating for a few years, and he likes seeing his friends and watching them grow with each year. His favorite part of the morning was cutting the cake while the group made sure everything was ready for the guests in the next room, noting the entire process was a success.

This meal is the final meal of the season that KIM kids will prepare for guests, but Program Director Amy Vaughn said the largest team in the Color in Motion 5K fundraiser on Saturday Aug. 5 will receive a home-cooked meal prepared by KIM members. She said the youth did an excellent job working together and displaying their good manners for their guests.

“It really is fun to watch, and they never cease to amaze me,” Vaughn said. “We had some guests who arrived early, and as soon as we sat down, one of the kids came and said 'Could I get you some tea' — just really trying to make people feel welcome. They do amazing things, not just with the cooking, but with everything.”

KIM kids are maintaining a busy summer schedule as they perform tasks throughout the community. Hannibal Police Department Sergeant Jacob Nacke said the youth are making a difference and learning positive skills, as they volunteered services like tending to the Victory Over Hunger garden, picking up trash downtown and sharing their skills with the meal they prepared and served.

Nacke said he has been a part of the Kids in Motion program for three years, and he enjoys watching the children learn the value of giving back to their community and grow into “very outgoing and energized” members of society. Many KIM kids make the transition to the Teens in Motion program.

“They grow a lot socially,” he said. “They kind of come out of their shell. They grow up and become adults.”

Kids in Motion is under the umbrella of Douglass Community Services and is a United Way recipient. For more information about Kids in Motion or Teens in Motion, please visit the program’s website at www.hannibalkidsinmotion.com or call Vaughn at 573-221-3892 ext. 246.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com