Photo by: Nick Conley
A conflict of scheduling brings an opportunity to serve for two alumni from Oklahoma Christian University.
Recent graduates of Oklahoma Christian Will and Holly Kooi took the opportunity to serve in Vienna, Austria full time starting in May 2011. Due to some conflicts, they are back in the United States temporarily; however, they plan on returning to Vienna on Feb. 10.
Instead of anxiously waiting around to return to Vienna, they have decided to use this time to gather as many children’s books as they can to give to the Vienna English Kid’s Club through a book drive.
The current Vienna mission team started the English Kid’s Club, and it has been successful for a few years now. Each semester, kids ranging in age from 6-9 have an hour a day to get together and practice their English.
“It has been a huge ministry,” Holly Kooi said. “We just choose a curriculum and go from there. We usually have a craft, a snack, a game and recently we have been adding some writing.”
The Kooi’s came up with the idea for a book drive about two weeks ago.
“Basically the goal of the book drive is to substantially increase the amount of English literature the kids in the English Kid’s Club have access to,” Kooi said. “We have books, but I wouldn’t even call it a library. We just don’t have a lot of variety, and none of the books are very challenging. I think there are a few kids in the English Kid’s Club that could handle a more challenging book like an early chapter book.”
Kooi said she is excited to bring new books to the Kid’s Club; she has big ideas for them.
“Everything starts with a book,” Kooi said. “We really want to build on that. We want the kids to understand the importance of reading and to enjoy it both in German and in English.”
She hopes reading in English will encourages the kids to want to learn more about the language.
“Hopefully reading more in English will get the kids to ask more questions,” Kooi said. “We want to start giving them chances to read out loud to each other, by themselves or even with their parents. Right now it is really hard to do that because they just don’t have access to that opportunity.”
The Kooi’s goal is to receive at least 100 books through the book drive before the deadline of Feb. 6. There are donation boxes located in the Bible building, the international office and in Memorial Road’s main office.
“There is no such thing as too many books; that would be a wonderful problem to have,” Kooi said. “I would just love to have a gigantic library that has so much variety for the kids that walk through our doors.”