A Summer of Fun

Each year, the Summer Youth Program at Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) provides neighborhood children with fun activities and a daily lunch while they aren’t in school.  This year’s program has seen record amounts of local kids participating and has partnered with many community organizations to make this summer special for everyone involved.

The program takes place in SheridanPark, a space with a playground, picnic tables and a spray park to stay cool during hot afternoons.  The day consists of activities, crafts and a lunch served at noon.

The program’s daily lunch is provided by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.  Distributing an average of 40 meals per day, the 9-week program has served 1,769 lunches; an increase from last year’s number by 30%.

Various community groups took the time to be a part of this year’s program, bringing exciting games and activities or snacks to share with the kids.  Some of this year’s volunteer groups included the Siena College Office of Academic Community Engagement – Civic Engagement Camp, Church of the Holy Spirit, Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, St. Peter’s Health Partners and 15 Love.

In addition to the fun activities held in Sheridan Park, the program took a field trip to the Henry Hudson Planetarium at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center to learn all about the stars and planets that make up our solar system.  For many, it was the first time experiencing this neat outing.

At the conclusion of the program, community partners teamed up to provide backpacks full of school supplies for the children as they prepare to return to school in the fall.  Community Resource Federal Credit Union did the school supply shopping and SEFCU donated backpacks for a total of 75 backpacks given to neighborhood children.  The final festival also included a pizza party, raffle prizes, face painting and a snow cone machine.  More than 100 parents and children joined the celebration.

The Summer Youth Program is able to serve an increasing number of children each year thanks to the generosity of the program’s donors: Ronald McDonald House Charities, First United Church of Delmar, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region Standish Family Foundation, Stewart’s Shops, Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Community Resource Federal Credit Union and SEFCU.

Contact: Eric Guzman
Contact E-mail: [email protected]

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