YOKE values community. In everything we do, we are committed to fostering loving and accepting environments where our students and leaders can develop intentional relationships. While many of those relationships begin at YOKE’s after school clubs, that’s not where they end. As our YOKE Folk form meaningful friendships with their students at club, they begin looking for opportunities to spend extra time with them outside of YOKE’s regular programs—something we call “kid time”—and that’s often where the real impact occurs.

To that end, YOKE’s Blount County clubs planned a bowling night this month at Crest Bowling Lanes in Maryville. Nearly 30 students and leaders gathered for a relaxed evening of fun and relationship building.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020, YOKE was active at 7 middle schools in Blount County, but this year has looked a little different. Since we are unable to meet inside the schools, YOKE has been meeting at two different locations in Blount County for combined clubs: one for Union Grove, Carpenters, and Alcoa students at Blount Community Church, and the other for Coulter Grove, Montgomery Ridge, Eagleton, and Heritage students at East Maryville Baptist Church. The extra restrictions that come with operating during a pandemic have made it difficult to bring the larger YOKE community together this year, but last week’s event gave Blount County students and leaders a chance to connect with the other clubs in their area.

“It’s always fun hanging out with our YOKE kids at club every week,” said Union Grove YOKE Folk Emilio Cornelio, “but I loved being able to get together with the other schools. It felt like a real community, and I want to do stuff like this more often because I love getting to hear about what else is going on in the YOKE community.”

YOKE’s Blount County leaders enjoyed the event so much that by the end of the evening, they had already begun making plans for their next Blount County Kid Time event.

Keep an eye on our social media for more information on events like this in your area. You can also register now for YOKE Summer Adventures, coming up on June 1 and June 15.