Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Fun Proves to Have Positive Impact on Children in Foster Care

With summer break at its end, MCH Outreach staff reflect on the full summer agendas of our foster children. The wide variety of events included: Vacation Bible School, visiting water parks, overnight family visits, having slumber parties with friends, Royal Family Kids Camp, Rockin' C Ranch Summer Camp, a local ISD theatre camp, and YMCA day camps. Many of our younger children enjoyed short trips within the state with their foster family and weekly activities and readings at the local library.

Cassandra, who is 10 years old, participated at the YMCA day camp the majority of the summer break as she has the last three years. As a camper at the YMCA, she visited the movie theatre three different times, the Skateplex three times, she went bowling on more than three occasions, swam twice a week at the YMCA's indoor pool, and she visited the zoo once along with other fun field trips. With over 35 kids between the ages of eight and twelve years old at the Tyler YMCA's day camp, Cassandra learned how to positively deal with peer conflict.

"Making friends the first day will make it better for the rest of the summer," she said.

Ms. Jefferies taught Cassandra how to talk problems out with her peers. Cassandra said she enjoyed the teachers who were easy to bond with at the Tyler YMCA.

The YMCA day camp had a positive impact on community involvement as well. Cassandra and her peers practiced singing and dancing for several weeks in order to perform for a local nursing home.

"The fun part was when we sang Christian songs and then gave the residents cards," Cassandra said. "They all wanted a hug too."

Foster parenting includes choosing activities that build character and make the children we serve feel included. It's our hope to continue networking with agencies and programs within our community such as the YMCA. MCH appreciates the involvement of our foster families and all the fun they have provided this summer.

Here's a picture of Cassandra and one of her friends from the YMCA day camp below.

Thanks to caseworker Jerushah Du Toit for this great story!

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