MEET THE TEAM: Snow Enjoys Providing Safe Place For Kids

MEET THE TEAM: Snow Enjoys Providing Safe Place For Kids

MEET THE TEAM: Snow Enjoys Providing Safe Place For Kids

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When Laura Snow walks out of Northridge High School in Middlebury at the end of the day, the para-professional’s work with kids isn’t finished. She drives down the street and heads into the games room at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Middlebury Clubhouse for a few more hours.

She’s worked with the older elementary school members at Club for the past two years there after working for eight years at the Goshen Club.

“I like coming to the Club because it’s a little more casual. They need mentors and safe adults in their lives. I like being able to play games with them,” Snow said. “My day goes from the more structured atmosphere at the high school to more fun stuff at the Club.”

She finds it enjoyable to take time to unwind with the kids after a long day in the classroom, but said there’s an important mission behind what happens at the Club.

“Kids need to be kids. They need to have safe places to just come and play,” Snow said. “It’s an age where social connections are starting to take place.”

Dealing with members in the upper elementary grades can be interesting — because they’re straddling a unique timeline.

“They are starting the transition of not being little kids, but not quite a teen. I try to let them be who they are while still providing structure,” she said. “They’re looking for a sense of respect that they’re growing up and helping them navigate the transition is so important.”

Having a safe space to do that is crucial. Snow said kids at that age can learn life lessons though activities without even realizing they’re learning.

“In some cases, when they’re relaxed and having fun, the big life issues come into focus for them. I think the Club may have a bigger impact on them because of the setting. The atmosphere allows for bigger impact in development for them.”

She’s also learning from the members — as they teach her the finer points of video games.

“The kids are teaching me to play Human: Fall Flat on X-Box. Boy does that take a lot of coordination.”

While her afternoon are spent with the younger members, Snow enjoys seeing the teens at the other end of the hallway at the Clubhouse.

“At the high school, I see teen Club members… so they can’t get rid of me. I may not be with them at the Club, but they know I’m here,” she said with a laugh.

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