Work and Play Builds the Path

Anyone with kids knows the difficulty of filling those out-of-school summer months with positive activity. Finding the right balance between activities that are "good for" our kids and things that they think are the most fun can be tricky. This summer the programs of R CITY run the length of the continuum between work and play. 

Our youngest friends are kept busy at Dreambuilders: active play, creative work, time reading, playing outside, nurturing character traits of kindness and respect. When you enter our space the energy of JOY surrounds you- dancing, singing, laughing, and reciting our summer catchphrase: "I have a HOPE! I have a FUTURE!" (From Jeremiah 29). The prayer of our children's staff has been that God would bring us the neighborhood children who would otherwise have nothing else positive to do- children that for whatever reason might be spending their summer days inside without much enrichment. God has definitely answered that prayer bringing many new children into our program.

Our teen apprentices are mostly on the other end of the spectrum from work to play. Our oldest teens (Age 16-18) are busy Monday-Friday in the heat, dirt and sweat as they tuckpoint and repair buildings. It's so great that even in the midst of the hardest work, they find ways to make their work fun. They sing, they laugh, they tell stories and cheer each other on. At the end of the day when you would imagine them at their most tired, they are all noise- laughter, singing, funny stories and JOY! Nothing fills my heart more than when teenagers love their work and love their teammates. 

As we pass the halfway mark of the summer and the days start cruising by with all the activity, we are so thankful to all of you who have made this work possible. When I started preparing this e-mail, we were still in need of $30,000 to complete our summer work, and it's great news to announce that we're now only in need of $20,000. If you are still considering a summer gift, I can't think of a better way to spend our resources- producing JOY in the children and teens of Humboldt Park! 

Michelle Johnson 
Director of Apprenticeships and Communication

Originally posted in our July 2018 Email Snapshot