Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VBX Success!

My family has participated in a "VBX" (fancy name for Vacation Bible School) at a local church for the last 13 years. This isn't even our home church! Austin attended for the first time as a four year old when a friend of his from playgroup (who was a member at this church) invited him. He attended until he was a rising 6th grader, which is the oldest age. Riley started attended when she was 4 and on up until 6th grade, and the last two years she has volunteered in the music department. Reece also started when she was 4. This is the same church where she attended preschool, so they were familiar with her needs.

But it was hard for her! This VBX usually has around 250 children in attendance and it can get loud and sort of crazy. It was hard on her sensory system. They started offering a Special Needs class several years ago and it was an answer to prayer. And she found a special young lady who has always volunteered to be her special helper. This young lady has always been so patient with Reece, but has determined to try to integrate Reece into the 'typical' activities as much as possible. I remember one year she and Reece sat in the balcony of the sanctuary during the closing ceremonies every day because the noise and people didn't bother her as much up there.

This year is Reece's second-to-last year that she can attend VBX as a kid. The rising 6th graders -which she will be next year (GASP!) - spend each day doing service projects in the community. I have been wondering how that might work. And I got the greatest news from her helper! She and Reece are going to go together with the 6th graders next year and do the projects! I couldn't be more excited - not only because they want to include her, and they think she's ready - but that this young lady has already been thinking of it! She even told me on the last day that she thinks Reece could have done the regular class this year, with her assistance - which wouldn't have looked odd at all because there are tons of youth helpers in every class! I can't begin to describe how excited I was, and so proud of Reece for how far she has come. Her helper said several times during the week how different she is this year.

It is so awesome to know how much my girls are loved and wanted at this church. The lady who is in charge of the music - who just so happens to be the mother of Reece's helper - told me they tried to take Riley from her and put her into another area to help, but she told them they couldn't have her! LOL It's nice to feel like Riley is wanted, despite (or maybe because of) her exuberant personality. And it's nice that they are so welcoming to Reece and want to do whatever they can to make sure she has fun, while also getting her as integrated as possible. I really hope that one day, when everyone is a bit older, I am able to do the same sort of thing at our home church!

My VBX girls!

I love that Riley loves to give back her time! She did this for 3 hours in the morning, then in the evenings went to our own church and led the music at VBS there, too!

Look, Reece is right up at the front and doing all the dance moves!! Her sweet helper is right there with her!


bookworm said...

Your girls are the best!!!!!!!!!

I'm still trying to survive VBS this week... LOL

Niffercoo said...

You can and will survive it, Tammy! One more day!!