FloCrit Summer 2019 Programming
Summer at Florence Crittenton Services is filled with programming and classes to engage our young moms. Frank Knappe, Family Engagement Coordinator, and Emi Pavia, Transitions Advocate, ran summer programming from June 4 to August 2, and filled the weeks with…
Summer at Florence Crittenton Services is filled with programming and classes to engage our young moms. Frank Knappe, Family Engagement Coordinator, and Emi Pavia, Transitions Advocate, ran summer programming from June 4 to August 2, and filled the weeks with field trips, hikes, classes, and fun for our teen moms. Meanwhile, the Early Childhood Education Center was open to provide consistent and quality care for their kids.
This summer, teen moms volunteered once a week at the Cope Boys and Girls Club, took nutrition and healthy cooking classes with Cooking Matters, photography workshops, painting classes, workshops with Goodwill Resources (a partner through our Center for Family Opportunity), went on Wednesday hikes, and participated in Friday field trips that were offered to girls with the highest weekly attendance.
Each Thursday morning, Frank, Emi, and a group of girls went to the Cope Boys and Girls Club to volunteer for a few hours. The Boys and Girls Club serves kids ages 8 to 18. “We’re always seeing volunteers come to our school and they’re helping us,” says Wendy, a FloCrit mom who regularly volunteered on Thursdays. “We wanted to return the favor, not exactly to them, but to the community.” The FloCrit moms spent time with the kids each week playing games and doing art projects. They also helped the younger Boys and Girls Club members with their reading incentive program.”We read to the kids who are behind and helped them with their tests so they could be ready for school and not fall behind,” says Wendy.
One day, Notes for Notes, an organization that provides youth with free access to music instruments, instruction, and recording studio environments, came to the Club. The members got to record songs and play musical instruments. This was Wendy’s favorite area in which to volunteer, because she got to see the creativity of even the shyest kids shine. “We met this really shy kid, and he seemed really creative, but he couldn’t perform in front of people,” she says. “It was nice trying to help him not be as shy and show other people what he could do [on the drums].” Wendy encouraged the boy to play parts of a song for just her until he finally, little by little, felt comfortable enough to play for more of an audience.
Wendy enjoyed the variety in the age of the members who she worked with, as well as the diversity in the community at the Club. “A lot of the kids grew up together, so you can see how they connect as a family,” she notes. “We can compare it to here because we’re close to you guys [FloCrit staff]. We’ve been here for a while; we grew up with you all almost.” Wendy is excited to continue bringing volunteerism for our teen moms to Florence Crittenton Services during the school year through student council. She hopes to organize volunteer opportunities here on campus as well as with other nonprofits throughout the community. She would like to reconnect during with Notes for Notes and some of the kids who were making music one Thursday at the Club, bringing them and FloCrit moms together for after school programs.
Cooking Matters classes gave teen moms hands on experience cooking healthy meals. “The girls were given healthy ingredients, learned how to prep them, and were given ingredients to take home to make the meal for their families,” says Frank. During the second part of each class, girls chatted with a nutritionist to get ideas for healthy substitutions in recipes, ways to eat well on a budget, and more.
Wednesday hikes were new to summer programming this year. “We started off easy at Roxborough State Park,” says Frank. He, Emi, and the girls finished the summer by summiting Mt. Evans. “I wanted them to explore what Colorado has to offer,” Frank explains. “I wanted them to see what was out beyond the city limits of Denver so they could get some experience, know where the trailheads are, and know some basic trail etiquette so they can go on their own.” Thank you to Safelite for donating hiking backpacks and US Bank for donating water bottles.
Overall, summer programming has been a success. The 23 girls who participated enjoyed finding space and time for themselves. They explored and tried new things and made connections in the community.
Sign up for our email list to get more stories like this about our teen moms and what they’re up to on campus. Would you like to help programming like this continue at Florence Crittenton Service? Donate today.