Throughout the week prior to our last session on Thursday group members had been asking me about this session. Although I had reminded them for the past several weeks about when the last meeting would be, they continued to comment about it and when doing so seemed to hope I would extend the program or change the ending. J
As we started our meeting I gave an outline of what the plan was and started with a discussion about the movie. Several group members who had missed the previous session were able to attend and this was a good opportunity for them to get a review. H3 thought it was a good idea to get animals to help the kids. S1 mentioned that she noticed that the animals in the movie were similar to that of the Manadoob. L1 who had been sick participated whole heartedly and shared that she found the movie to be very inspiring.
Previous to this week the group seemed united in the interest to always keep reading, they loved the book and wanted to read extra each meeting, however today felt a little bit different. Several mentioned as we began to read chapter 28 that it was the last and made sure I noticed their sad faces.
We completed the Manadoob survey and celebrated with some snacks and mask making. While creating our masks I asked if anyone would like to talk more about Manadoob and their experience, and after everyone expressed interest we each took a turn. H2 said that Manadoob was really fun for her and she learned a lot about others. L2 shared openly that at first he wasn’t really sure about the program but chose to stay and got used to it. T said she liked it from the start, she made friends which is something she shared she usually doesn’t do easily and got the chance to share things she didn’t feel she could outside of group. S1 wasn’t too sure at first and didn’t really like Manadoob, she didn’t really know anyone and now is more comfortable and didn’t want it to end. K simply said that “It was awesome!” H3 did a drum roll on the table, making the group laugh, and agreed with K, that Manadoob had been awesome! H1 seemed very genuine in his response that he thought the story was good. He shared that Manadoob meant a lot to him and it taught him a lot about himself. I appreciated hearing this from him as I feel he is hard to read at times. L1 liked the group, she was able to build trust and share openly. She enjoyed being part of a group where everyone was there because they wanted to be.
We had a great time working on our masks and had fun taking several pictures. I handed out certificates of completion to the group and when it was time to go many thanked me for the snacks and the program. I had an amazing time getting to know these Club Members on a more personal level and I am excited to watch the friendships they have created in Manadoob continue to develop. I have no doubt this group of kids will do great things and spread the word about Manadoob throughout the Club. Several expressed interest in going through it again next year; I told them this wasn’t a possibility but that we could further discuss the opportunity to help with the group. I hope to have this year’s Manadoob graduates assist at times next year and think it would really add to the program if we were able to do a project benefitting out local humane society or something similar. We will see what next year brings!