2016 LoveLight Summer Program
A total of 175 (unduplicated) children at 6 lower-income neighborhood sites (Athena Drive, Community Estates, Heritage Knolls, Summit Gardens, Villages at Franklin Crossing, and Whispering Pines) were served a total of 2,592 lunches, i.e. 2,445 firsts and 147 second lunches.
Activities, which varied among the four neighborhoods, included the following:
- drawing (chalk, colored pencils, crayons, markers); painting; making bean bags
- clay & natural materials (made letters and "wrote" children's names
- creating toy men, animals, various objects and patterns out of pine cones and tops of acorn, sticks, leaves, rocks, beans, yarn
- storytelling on the flannel board; story acting
- singing children's songs with a guitar; finger knitting
- making storybooks (we placed the cutout figures - house, man, moon, wolf, turtle - under the paper and then using the square crayon we colored the paper until the outline of the figure appears on the paper). On the next page we wrote children's stories about the picture they designed. We hole-punched the pages and tied them together with a yarn
- reading Eric Carl's books "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Opposites"
- science kits (circle of butterflies and seasons)
- building with a construction fort set; making a "telephone" with cups and strings
- physical activities with jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, parachute; age appropriate physical games like "Dog and a bone", "Red light, green light", "Hide and seek", "Colors with a jump rope", "Capture the flag", "Horse shoe", etc.; swinging and climbing on a tree with a rope;
- blowing bubbles; puzzles, magnetic sets, paper and plastic blocks;
- table games, e.g. "Go Fish", Pictionary, Uno, Crazy Eights ;
- dramatic play with different color capes
- planting: we planted beans and corn and the site supervisor did some science kit activity with planting seeds on a pine cone;
- making lantern jars and coloring them with tissue papers;
- working with goop, brown (the real) clay and modeling clay;
- jump rope race; Mouse and Cat game, “Simon Says”, “Marco Polo”, hopscotch, Hot Potato
- discussions- Question of the Day, e.g. “What will you be when you grow up?”
- soccer, basketball, wiffle ball, football, kickball; handball, games, e.g. Twister
- crafts- sock puppets, friendship bracelet, foil crafts
- relationship-building; team-building games;
- scavenger hunt; water play; and Tug-of-war.
In addition, we invited a Chinese scholar and she made us chop sticks and "food" out of newspaper. Children were invited to play with the sticks and then we had them race with each other. This activity sparked a conversation about China, how people eat, what they eat, etc.
She also introduced string games that children would play by holding a string around their fingers and making different patterns. In addition, the children did collage with colored tissue paper; she also taught the kids how to make pompoms.
Twenty-seven (27) youth participated in Camp LoveLight Multicultural Arts, which was held at Villages at Franklin Crossing in the afternoons (4 to 6 p.m.) from July 25 th through July 29 th . Activities Included:
- Crafts, e.g. decorating musical instruments, creating Shekeres (musical instruments used in West African, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian music), and making African proverb signs, masks, bracelets, and necklaces
- Latin dancing
- Outdoor games including balancing baskets relay and “Zebras and Lions”
- Snacks; on the last day, pizza was donated by Pizza Hut
- Whole-group discussion circles that included sharing poetry, learning African proverbs, sharing goals and dreams, rhythm of participants’ names, and learning and discussing the principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith)
Besides the benefits to the children and their families, LoveLight’s summer program also supported our economy through local purchases and employment of Kent residents. An additional contribution of the program was the valuable experience gained by college students who were involved in the program. In addition, five Kent youth were employed and gained work experience in the summer program via Ohio Means Jobs.