23 Aug A Summer to Remember: Mi CASA Summer Program Wraps Up as Kids Return to School
A Summer to Remember: Mi CASA Summer Program Wraps Up as Kids Return to School
“This was the best camp I’ve ever been to,” declared Krysten, a Mi CASA Summer Program participant. “I got to make a lot of new friends, the staff were really nice and I got to try new things, like taiko. Plus there were a lot of different activities, so it was a lot of fun!”
LTSC’s Mi CASA Summer Program offers free activities and field trips for kids who qualify, and targets youth from our affordable housing buildings and the surrounding neighborhoods. After 5 weeks full of fun in-person activities and field trips, the program wrapped up earlier this month. In just the program’s second year, there were close to 60 kids enrolled. To aid with the increase in students, Mi CASA staff had help from nearly 20 volunteers, with at least 10 volunteers on hand every day.
For Kristen Luo, a returning volunteer, this year’s program gave her a chance to reconnect with many students she met last year. “It’s just been a lot of fun getting to interact with all the kids and help them with all kinds of different activities. Since it was fully in person this year, there were just a lot more things for the kids to do this summer, from field trips to activities at Budokan,” she explained.
Thanks to support from volunteers and partners who provided special workshops and activities, the students stayed constantly engaged. Building on partnerships from the previous school year, organizations like OOF Kids, The Music Center and UniverSOUL Hip Hop, LA Artcore and Sustainable Little Tokyo worked with the children. Members from the community also supported the camp, including Walter Nishinaka of J-Town Taiko Club, who led taiko workshops for the children. Talented Casa Heiwa residents Andrew, Brenda and Hayashi-san also shared their skills with the students, teaching them crocheting, Zumba and fabric dyeing respectively.
“Crocheting was my favorite activity,” said Helen, a Summer Program participant. “I’ve never done it before, but Andrew was super nice and helped me out. I definitely want to try it again!”
By sharing new experiences with the children, Jackie Waight, Youth Services Coordinator at LTSC, hopes to enrich the students’ lives and help them break out of their comfort zones. “Whether it’s the summer program or the after school program, I hope that the kids are able to build confidence within themselves so that they can try new things without fear of failure and take those risks. Since more kids from our affordable housing buildings are able to attend the Summer Program than our after school program, it’s nice to be able to meet all these other kids in our community and build relationships with them,” Jackie told us.
For enrollment and more information, visit: www.LTSC.orgMiCASA. The program is also searching for volunteers, so if you are interested in enrolling your child or volunteering with the Mi CASA after school program, please contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org new email.