This week's Valpo Life in the Spotlight, Maggie Freeman, grew up in Valparaiso and earning her education in the Valparaiso Community School system. After receiving her Bachelor's Degree in business from Purdue North Central, she found herself right back in the Valparaiso School System working for the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County’s Kidstop program.
The Kidstop program at the Boys & Girls Club is currently available at nine Porter County schools, six of which are in Valparaiso. Kidstop provides before and after school activities for students from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm after school.
Freeman said that the program allows students to have a positive experience in the morning so that the rest of the day goes well for them and the after school program helps families enjoy more time together because their homework can be finished before heading home from school.
The morning program offers time for students to participate in physical activities to get some energy out before school and even allows them to take a quick nap to catch up on some sleep. The after school program offers snacks, crafts, more physical activities and homework for students. On days off of school, the Boys & Girls Club offers a camp program from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.
“We provide a safe place for kids to be,” Freeman said. “When they get home they can have quality family time.”
Freeman joined the program as a Program Assistant, which allowed her to work her way up from there. She now works as the Program Director, where she supervises Kidstop staff and sites, plans programming and puts out a lot of figurative “fires”.
Freeman said that what she likes most about her job is walking through the schools she once attended with a new perspective.
“It’s my home. I was born here. I was raised here. I did everything in Valpo,” said Freeman. “Valpo is just one of those places that will have the hometown feel to me no matter where I go.”
She also enjoys showing the kids that they can have fun at a before and after school program and that it’s not just about doing homework. Freeman says that the program’s success relies heavily on the staff members.
“We have a lot of great staff here that really cares about the kids,” she explained.
In her free time, Freeman likes to spend time with her fiance, whom she will be married to this coming November. They like to hang out with family and friends, go fishing, play basketball, watch Game of Thrones - their current favorite television show - and even play Dungeons and Dragons together (which Freeman was a little reluctant to admit). We all have our guilty pleasures.
Parents interested in the program can sign up online here, stop by the Boys & Girls Club or sign up at a participating school. Currently, the program is being offered at the following Valparaiso Elementary schools: Central, Flint Lake, Memorial (served at Northview with transportation provided), Northview, Parkview and Thomas Jefferson.