Shalom Community Christian Church truly lives up to its name of spreading shalom throughout the community. For almost 20 years, they have been teaching health and wholeness to the congregation and
One of the biggest programs at Shalom Christian Community Church is their free SMART (Science, Math, Art, Reading, Technology) summer camp serving kids in rising second grade through eighth grade. The main focus of the program is exposing youth to different educational topics that are not covered in a typical classroom setting. In the morning, campers learn new concepts, information, and ideas and then follow it up with hands-on application in the afternoon. Nutrition is also a really crucial component of the program. Sessions not only discuss proper care of the body, but also demonstrate this through cooking healthy dishes together. Dionne mentioned that the hands-on component has been especially meaningful to the kids. She discussed how this exposure has impacted campers in very personal ways:
“One of our campers told us about a time when she was trying to explain to her mom why certain foods need to be eaten in moderation. At first, her mom was offended, but then she tried a recipe from the program and she was impressed. It’s just getting the opportunity to be exposed to something different. There isn’t the time or opportunity to teach students about these topics in school, but this is a place where we can do that, and in a way that kids can have fun with it.”
The church is also continuously working with the public schools to provide healthy meals to students. Through a partnership with another organization called Ray of Hope, they are able to offer health classes followed by a free meal four days each week. Additionally, they prepare meals for the local high school athletes during their seasons. Dionne said that doing this has been a good way for the church to ensure that kids in the community eat well and understand the importance of nutritious diets in leading a healthy lifestyle.
Another fun health initiative of the church is their zumba classes three days per week. These classes are open to everyone in the community. Dionne briefly discussed the impact this initiative has had: “I love it, because we have attendance from retirees to families with their children, and everyone really enjoys it. It’s fun, it’s exercise, and it also brings our community together.”
Thank you to Dionne Cole for sharing these stories with such compassion and grace. Partners in Health and Wholeness is grateful to be included in the work, community, and continuing growth at Shalom Community Christian Church. If you would like to reach out to Shalom Community Christian Church, please feel free to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.