Building Blocks is a kindergarten through fifth grade Afterschool and Summer Program that provides academic and enrichment activities as well as additional hands-on learning experiences such as music lessons, arts and crafts, fun experiments, and more! Our goal is to help children comprehend what they’ve learned in school and facilitate growth in other valuable areas of their developmental lives. We also want to provide a space of fun, growth, and assistance so that by the time children are back home, they have the opportunity to spend quality time with their families.
What do we do?
During the school year, we provide hands-on tutoring assistance as well as provide enrichment, SEL, and leadership development activities. During the summer months, we engage students by focusing on academic, enrichment, SEL, leadership development, and different movement activities; all the while providing a safe and exciting environment.
Whom do we serve:
While we are based in the neighborhood of West University, we are not limiting access to our programs to only those in this area. All Elementary-aged students are welcome to apply!
How do we serve them:
We provide a fun and safe environment that will encourage academic, social, behavioral, and mental growth. Our staff and mentors will facilitate activities in math, science, ELA, social studies, art, sports, team building, and more!
Think: During the summer months, we prioritize the preparation of children for the upcoming school year by focusing on daily academic activities in different areas such as STEM, ELA, social studies, and more! During the school year, we assist children in the completion of homework as well as provide additional enrichment, leadership development, and SEL activities.
Grow: Socialization is a critical component in the development of children. We spend time helping kids interact with their peers in respectful and productive ways. Year round, we prioritize students being able to engage with one another as well as utilize behavioral management skills if and when a conflict arises.
Play: We recognize the importance of physical movement and allowing children to explore different ways to be active. Year round, we prioritize movement through dance, yoga, free play, sports, and more!
Love: As a staff, we recognize the invaluable gift of Christ's love for us. This truth gives us the energy and strength to love on the children and families we are able to interact with. Year round, we prioritize the sharing of this love by reading different Bible stories as well as allowing the students to experience and feel loved through our staff's actions and words.
About Ms. Kelly
Director of Children's Ministries
Kelly began her time at St. Andrew’s as a young child when her parents moved to the neighborhood and enrolled her in the Mother’s Day Out program. She was very active in the youth program and remembers fondly singing in the youth choir.
Kelly graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She worked in restaurants during college and upon graduation she took a position with the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston. It was there she met her husband Paul Lewis.
Paul and Kelly were married in Ireland and lived there for 2 years before returning to Houston to start their family. They have two daughters, Emma and Abby. Kelly felt the call to ministry in 2010 when she volunteered to be the interim director of children’s ministries. In 2011 she became the permanent director of Children’s ministries and oversees children from birth through 5th grade.
About Ms. Rachel
Director of Building Blocks
“Over the last 26 years, I have been a part of St. Andrews as a church member, youth participant and employee, pre-k teacher, music leader, and more! This community has allowed me the space to challenge, learn, love, and grow. After receiving my Bachelor’s of Social Work at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, I spent five years coordinating Elementary After School Programs at a local non-profit. Then, I moved back to Houston to attend UH - Go Cougs! - for my Master’s in Social Work.
I believe the skills I developed through my work experience and my degree will transfer into this new season seamlessly. I am currently working at St. Andrews as the Director of Building Blocks, a Children’s Place administrator, and an assistant for the middle school and high school youth groups.
My door is always open to thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns with anything related to our Building Blocks programs. I cannot express enough how excited, encouraged, and hopeful I am for the ability to interact, learn, and grow alongside you.”
Peace, Rachel Gowen