The Warwick Area Farmworkers Organization Dulce Esperanza Summer Educational Enrichment Program continued meeting daily during this past week and half with several excellent opportunities for the children enrolled in the program to continue their educational growth over the summer months. Some exciting things that happened during the past week and a half are:
- Wickham Works continues each Monday and Friday – Last Friday (7/16/21) a video and sound artist worked with students in making their own videos, sound effects and photos. Children were able to interview each other. This was an exciting chance for the students to learn about video production, non-linear video editing, sound engineering, and multimedia publishing with an industry expert. This was part of our classes of Music and Arts Education given to the children each year though this particular session was brand new. The final product will be uploaded to our website in the coming weeks. Wickham Works is a local nonprofit coalition of artists and creators. We thank them for their support of our program and for making these class sessions twice a week possible.
- Apiculture Presentation – Apiculture is the biological and agricultural science of building and maintaining bee colonies by humans in man-made hives. Beekeeper Roger Moss presented to the children a program on the life of bees. Children were fascinated to hear all of the details on the queen bee and the lifespan of a bee. Roger brought his bees for the students to see what a hive looked like. This was an amazing chance for the students to not only learn, but experience beekeeping as part of our Science curriculum. Thank you to Roger for stopping by and hosting such an exciting presentation. You can read more about Roger in an article from 2017 in the Times-Herald Record here.
- Story Time Literacy Class Continues – Cathy Heimbach continues to visit each Tuesday with her dog Colby to read to the children. The students take turns reading their books to Colby (our visiting dog). They love this activity and look forward to seeing Cathy and Colby each week. This is a great way to get the students to read, as well as, interact with animals and people. It gets the children really excited about learning to read better. This is part of our Language Arts curriculum that focuses on Literacy and Social Skills. Thank you to Cathy and Colby for their continued work with the children.
- Warwick Knights Host BBQ – A special lunch barbecue was hosted by the Warwick Valley Knights of Columbus last week. Despite very high temperatures, the very generous KOC came to cook the children their lunches. Many of the students were excited and some said that this was the best day of the summer. The Knights have been kind enough to host this event in the past pre-pandemic and it was great to have them back again this year. We appreciate their generosity and continued support of our program. This was a great opportunity for the children to get out and play, as well as, socialize among themselves. It is also a great way to expose them to civic organizations and others that help out our communities, as well as, make it a better place. Nobody left hungry and the food was wonderful. This is part of our program’s social skills and community involvement programs that help children to realize the importance of helping others out in their communities and place of work.
- Dance classes started last week with tumbling and Hip Hop in the D’Antono Dance Academy – The children got a chance to learn dance at the D’Antono Dance Academy. The students loved the movement in an air-conditioned room! The children really enjoyed the program and it was wonderful to see them learning new dance moves. This program is part of our Physical Education curriculum and also helps the children experience different cultures through dance and music. We greatly appreciate the D’Antono Dance Academy for continuing to support our program and for doing such a great job in teaching the students how to remain physically active in a fun and creative way.
- Culinary Skills Classes Start – Claire Gabelman worked with the students from all classes to prepare both vegetable and fruit salads. The students learned about proper food preparation and nutrition at the same time. The students really enjoyed eating what they made and it is a great interactive way to teach them about good nutrition habits. This is part of our Health and Nutrition Education curriculum. We thank Claire for hosting this class and teaching the children so much about food.
- Project Linus Blanket Donations – Blankets were donated from Project Linus, a national program in which volunteers sew or knit homemade blankets for people. Each of the students received a blanket from this group. Despite all of the heat, the students cherished this blankets and have been using them in class. Each blanket is different and we are grateful to the makers of these gifts. Thank you for your generous donation and for your continued support!
We are blown away by the support we receive from the Warwick Valley Community (and beyond). Without all these kind volunteers and donations (along with all the volunteers and staff of our programs) none of this would be possible. We are greatly appreciative of this support and work by so many helping these children out. On behalf of all the children in the WAFO Summer Enrichment Program we thank you all for such a wonderful week and half of “happenings” for these children!