Payson Kid Care: Program Helps With Homework, Morals

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When Kim Reed saw her son struggling with his grades and acting out, she knew she had to seek help.

Payson Kid Care offered the hours of child care she needed as a working mother. It also promised homework and life skills assistance that would benefit her 11-year-old.

A year later, Reed's son is doing well at school. "His grades are really good," she said. "He is treating me with more respect and doing what I am expecting of him."

That one-on-one mentoring is just part of the package the staff of Kid Care provides, according to children's pastor and Kid Care director, Todd Foresman.

The program offers children homework help -- and not just elementary students.

"We have staff that is proficient in math all the way through college level algebra 2, trigonometry, and statistics," Foresman said.

Foresman learned to read with the phonics method, but he stressed when Kid Care staff work with children on their reading skills, they use the method most comfortable for the child.

"We had a couple of kids come in (last year) that refused to do homework, and one that could not read. They are now able to sit and do homework," Foresman said.

The latter child proudly came by to report he had received an "A" on his reading test.

Computers are available to Kid Care students for research and for typing reports. All use of the Internet is supervised, Foresman said.

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Lanna Halbert, Hannah Bix and Jacob Beasley spend time on the Kid Care computers while Pastor Todd Foresman supervises.

Payson Kid Care is part of a nationwide program that provides a curriculum that teaches moral values and practical life skills.

Pastor Rob Rocca, of First Assembly of God church, believed Kid Care could meet a need he saw in the Rim Country.

A typical afternoon in the program includes snack time, club time and time to simply be a child at play -- all while they are learning socialization skills.

"I have watched my son grow into respecting adults more and becoming a better citizen of his community because of Kid Care," Reed said.

"He didn't like little kids for a long time," she said. "Now he is willing to help other little kids out. He's willing to be a mentor."

Club time could be reading, crafts, practical living, movies (G rated only) or Bible study.

During reading time, students and instructors read and ask questions to boost comprehension.

Once a week, club time is devoted to Bible study. Foresman said a parents are free to opt their child out of this study if they choose.

Because Kid Care America is Christian-based, an evangelical approach is used when it comes to teaching Biblical morals such as kindness, gentleness and thankfulness, according to Rocca.

"Our daily fee is $13.33 for a half day from 0-6 hours based on an hourly rate of $2.22 an hour, and $22.20 for a full day from 0-10 hours based on an hourly rate of $2.22 an hour," said Foresman."There is a minimum weekly charge of $55 during school and $75 during school breaks, whether or not your child uses the days. This is to ensure their space in the program, and is necessary to meet operational costs."

Program hours are from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. on regular school days, with full coverage on scheduled half days, as well as the two-week-long school breaks.

Discount plans are available based upon parental income verification or the number of siblings attending.

Kid Care is Department of Economic Security approved. Interested parents may contact Jean Gorslin at DES to get approval for Kid Care or any other day care program.

Payson Kid Care is at First Assembly of God Church, 1100 W. Lake Dr., adjacent to Green Valley Park. For more information, call (928) 474-2302.

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