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  • Writer's pictureErica Ward Cherry, MSW

Inaugural Fun Week is a Blast

During the week of August 7th, we partnered with Akron Public Schools' Project Rise to bring the inaugural "Fun Week!" to all of the kids in our shelter. Project Rise is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Program through Akron Public Schools. They partner with local shelters and other agencies to make sure that students and families experiencing  housing instability have educational and enrichment opportunities. Throughout the summer, they partnered with shelters, including Family Promise, to offer a special Family Fun camp for their clients. Monday through Friday, Project Rise Teachers guided the students through a variety of educational and social-emotional experiences. The week also included visits from special guests and several field trips! “Extraordinary that Family Promise could supply this for the kids especially right before going back to school. The work staff and Project Rise put in was amazing. I’d volunteer every year” – A, mother of four Family Promise campers.

The mission of Project Rise is to combat learning loss and offer programs that help bridge the gap between students experiencing homelessness and their more stable peers. Programs like Fun Week allow Project Rise to build relationships with the students and their parents and give them valuable enrichment experiences they may not receive otherwise. “The kids were given an exciting and authentic summer camp experience with a creative and educational flare” – Edie, Project Rise volunteer and Music Therapist at Akron Public Schools’ Bridges. Getting the families out into beautiful and tranquil environments helps neutralize some of their negative experiences and trauma - all while having a blast out in nature.

Family Promise held a closing reception and picnic at Silvercreek Metro Park. 18 kids joined us throughout the week for adventures at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Summit Metro Parks, Mckinley Museum and fun at Glendora House. We cannot thank Project RISE enough for coordinating this week for our campers! Thank you to Saw Systems Inc for your school supply donations and Jimmy's Backyard BBQ for help with the food. What a great day!

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