Here at the Berea Summer Food Service Program we make it a priority to provide meaningful activities for the kids. It is our goal is to enrich their lives as much as possible. At each site we have a craft table with a variety of different art supplies where the kids continue to impress us daily with their ingenuity and their own unique ideas. They’ve made monsters, puppets, Father’s Day cards, a 3D solar system, binoculars, hats, bracelets…the list goes on and on! It is amazing to see what these kids come up with.
In addition to the craft table we have an activities bin with sports equipment, chalk, and parachutes! The items are always the same, but what the kids decide to do with them is always different. Soccer cones are turned in to hats, and the parachutes are turned into capes. We’ve even seen teenagers tie two small jump-ropes together to make one large jump-rope. And then there are the chalk drawings! I could make an entire blog post about the all fantastic chalk creations we’ve seen throughout the summer. The chalk is by far our most popular item. It doesn’t matter if the participant is 2 years old or 18 years old. Everybody LOVES chalk!
Every Tuesday and Thursday we have fun and educational programs planned for the kids. Last Thursday St. Joseph’s Hospital generously allowed us to use their giant inflatable colon to teach kids about the digestive system. The kids loved it! We also gave away informational packets about nutrition along with cute little stuffed potatoes.
People are really starting to notice a difference in the community and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from parents and guardians of kids attending our sites. Christel Long, after taking her daughter to our site at the Berea Farmers Market last Saturday said, “I witnessed children, mostly who appeared to be of toddler and pre-k age, eating a nutritious box lunch. These girls and boys also eagerly engaged with great enthusiasm in fun and exciting age appropriate activities to get their bodies moving. This compassionate investment in our most vulnerable youth population has already generated a certain return that surely exceeds expectations.”
We are eager to see how this program will continue to grow and serve the community. We will continue to provide meals and activities for kids all the way up to July 29th. If you have kids we highly encourage you to come out to our sites and participate! The more the merrier! If you’ve already been participating in our program please be sure to fill out our survey at https://berea.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8jhIfN9ZyLTVcHj . Your feedback is extremely helpful to us as we think ahead to next summer and shape the future of the program. Thank you.