Suzie is just one of the many of stories of success playing out each week at Whiz Kids locations all around inner Oklahoma City.
Suzie’s teacher has seen this situation before and doesn’t want her to fall behind. She suggests Suzie join a club where kids get together after school for a couple hours to eat snacks, hang out, and read with a caring and attentive adult. She thinks it’ll help her out in the long run, so before school is out, she gives Suzie a permission slip.
Before bed that night, Suzie hands her mom the Whiz Kids permission slip and asks if she can join the club. Her mom reads the slip, signs it and places it in Suzie’s backpack. Mom kisses Suzie’s forehead before turning out the light.
After school the following week, Suzie and a third-grader named Carlos are standing outside the school. Carlos is excited because it’s his weekly Whiz Kids day. Suzie is a little nervous, but Carlos tells her how much fun they have. A car pulls up with a gray-haired woman inside.
“Hi Carlos! You ready?”
“C’mon Suzie! That’s Michelle, she takes me to Whiz Kids every Tuesday,” says Carlos.
The woman in the car rolls down her window.
“You must be Suzie. I’m Michelle. Are you ready to have some fun today?”
They pull up to the big church a couple blocks from Suzie’s house. Inside, Suzie sees some of her friends from school and some kids she’s never seen before. They’e all eating sandwiches and drinking juice. Suzie sees her teacher talking to some of the adults in the room. Her teacher waves. “I’m so glad you made it!”
After snacks, she and the group hear a Bible story. She learns about how Jesus is her friend even if she’s feeling angry or frustrated. She can always talk to him.
After club time, she’s paired with a college student named Jessica. Jessica asks what she’d like to read. Suzie pulls a book from her backpack.
“Let’s start from the beginning,” says Jessica.
Suzie starts reading, but stumbles with the bigger words. Jessica doesn’t get frustrated. Instead, Jessica helps her sound out the words and praises her when she finishes each page.
Suzie’s teacher checks in to see how she and Jessica are doing and offer encouragement. Before they know it, the hour is over. Suzie feels proud because she finished the first chapter. She’s excited to read what happens in chapter two! Jessica gives her a big hug.
“You did so great today! I can’t wait to find out what happens next!”
A few months later, Suzie is feeling excited and confident. Now, on her way home from school, she stops by the public library. She can’t get enough of the mystery books. When she grows up, she wants to be a detective.
Before bed, Suzie now likes to read her mom a story. Her mom couldn’t be more proud.
And Suzie couldn’t be happier.