What a wonderful summer it has been! On Friday, August 3 we closed out our summer session with a celebratory pizza lunch for Site Coordinators and Americorps volunteers along the Chicago riverfront. Under warm sunny skies, over deep dish slices and salad, we waved hello at passing ferries and shared our favorite moments of summer program.
Summer session was full of innovative changes in program delivery, new enrichment partners, continued development of in-house program initiatives, a variety of field trips and an updated curriculum. Alongside this, AmeriCorps members facilitated workshops and parent programming, conducted outreach and collaborated to articulate program policies in line with the overall mission of Chicago HOPES for Kids.
Our enrichment partners for summer session included longtime partners Mad Science, Poetry Foundation, Code Play Learn and newcomers The Insight Project, Free Lunch Academy, MODOS Dance Theater and Next Wave STEM. AmeriCorps members have also been instrumental in the development of music programming, new math games and programming, social-emotional learning curriculum. Additionally, new programming for middle school students includes Classroom Inc. at Primo Englewood, which by all accounts has been a popular addition, and Math Circles at Cornerstone. A special field trip for Su Casa to Medinah Temple Bloomingdale’s provided students and volunteers with a memorable experience learning to cook healthy meals, while a trip to the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier gave children and families at Cornerstone Community Outreach a special experience courtesy of partners at Village MD.
Thanks to the efforts of donor partners, enrichment partners, site coordinators, AmeriCorps members and program volunteers, this summer’s session of programming surely stands out as the highest quality, most comprehensive and most enjoyable to date. I am deeply grateful for the consistent effort displayed by volunteers and staff, and appreciative of the trust placed in me to provide leadership and direction for programming.