Students in FLI receive mentoring from a variety of trained adults in academic, spiritual, and family/social matters. Some FLI churches take advantage of the online learning site, Khan Academy. If a child’s school also uses Khan Academy, his or her teacher can be kept up-to-date on the student’s progress. We’ve seen kids blow past their grade level in math and revel in how many points they can accumulate. Other churches use Bible study materials from RightNowMedia. These classes include test preparation, reading, goal setting, homework help—whatever they feel their set of students needs most.
Adult mentors work with the children, grouped by age, in small classroom settings to help each student make progress on their academic and personal goals.
Academic confidence is only the start: Table Talk at dinner gives families guidance and practice in listening to each other, in telling stories, and in enjoying each other. Each night of FLI, while families are gathered around tables, everyone goes through the Table Talk questions, and everyone gets a chance to speak. Many kids have expressed that this is their favorite part of FLI.
One church shared a powerful story about a family that moved a lot and had arrived in Grand Rapids with the oldest son not talking to his mother or to his siblings. By the end of the FLI season, the oldest son was talking to his family again. He had hope that he could make friends and have the skills to get a job. The mother learned how to listen and fully hear what her sons were saying. Their site coordinator said, “Now they have so much to say to each other that they have to sit around the table.”