"My son just loves being there"

Michele Obama said, “We should always have three friends in our lives-one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” HALO is all of those people for my 6-year-old son Gustavo – HALO is the main reason he’s become a better kid in four short months.Ahmad, Nikki, Frank, Josh, and others work hard every day to make sure my son feels special and important. Now, these folks aren’t coddling the kids – on the contrary. At HALO, the leaders make sure everyone’s homework is done, they make the kids look them in the eye when talking, and they put the kids through fun workouts (especially to reinforce good classroom behavior). They also celebrate big wins with the kids – with a fist bump or a pizza party. And wow, do they teach them about excelling in sports!! My son just loves being there.HALO is amazing because the leaders create an environment where healthy relationships can form between adults and children. It’s not surprising that young people like my son thrive when adults show they care about them on a one-on-one level, and when they have a sense of belonging to a caring community. This is when change is truly possible. My son has recently been cited with good behavior in school at least eight days in a row – a big win for him. HALO’s goal for him? “Ten days,” Ahmad says. Gustavo just smiles and says he can do it. Then they fist bump and hug.I’ve memorized the HALO code – “do right, be positive, seek wisdom, take action and never quit” — because my son constantly chants it and tells anyone who will listen. I’m so happy we found HALO. It’s not a daycare – it’s a way of life for these kids. It’s why my son gets out of bed to go to school each day, “so he can go have fun at HALO.”

– Shane C.