You can’t over-estimate the power of consistency in a young person’s life. At the KidsCare site at OxBow Elementary School, Joyce Williams has been a consistent face each morning for the past five years.
Williams has been part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County family for six years, working at one of the Clubhouses before joining the KidsCare team.
“A lot of my fourth graders I’ve had since kindergarten. With their younger siblings coming in, it’s easier to build those new relationships. It’s like we’re one big happy family,” she said.
Williams said she finds joy in working with the kids and being that constant in their daily routine.
“Consistency is important. It gives them a sense of safety. They can come and talk to us, and they can trust us to help them handle any issues,” she said. “They know when they arrive in the morning that I will be here. With kids in general, that’s important. They need that.”
Because she is one of the first people they will see during their day, she tries to make sure they get their morning started off on the right foot.
“I always greet them in the morning and make sure to tell them to have a good day when they’re getting on the bus.”
The constant arrivals and departures can make for a busy day, but Williams and other members of the team control the pace with a consistent schedule of programs.
“They know what is happening and what is coming next. I think that helps. We also try to set expectations so there are no surprises,” she said.
Her own children are part of the KidsCare program so she understands what having a quality program means for parents and works to make it a good experience.
“I really like working with the kids. I also love getting to know the other staff and exchanging ideas on how to do things,” Williams said.
At the end of the day, she wants to create a program that she would have enjoyed as a child.
“I try to treat them the way I would want to be treated when I was that age,” she said.