When Magaly Lenker thinks of her daughter’s experience in the Summer Enrichment Program last year, Matthew 25:35 comes to her mind. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Grettell Delcid’s two children also spent last summer in the Mission’s Summer Enrichment Program, and both kids are looking forward to participating again this year.
“It’s exciting for them,” she said. “They get to experience life in ways they haven’t before, and the volunteers treat them well and give them feedback about their behavior.”
The SEP gives children a chance to develop in four ways including educationally, through reading and math lessons; spiritually, through Bible stories and lessons; physically, through outdoor activities, free lunch and field trips; and socially, through healthy, meaningful relationships with peers and volunteer mentors.
Entering its 10th year, the SEP continues to reach out to Frederick County students in need of support and offer them a summer filled with new experiences and constructive activities in a caring atmosphere.
Each year, the SEP provides several field trips for students, exposing them to new adventures, with the hope of opening up a world of possibility for their futures. This year, students will enjoy an afternoon at Diggs Pool, a day at Cunningham Falls learning from former scouts how to tie knots, orienteer, and identify items in nature, and watching a performance of Aladdin at Dance Unlimited. They will also hear from multiple guest speakers who come in to share with the students their area of expertise.
In hope of reaching more students this year, Mission Outreach Coordinator Teri Kwiatek plans on running a pilot week-long satellite Summer Enrichment Program in Thurmont in August. Behind Frederick, Thurmont has some of the highest numbers of homeless students in the county.
“I knew the kids in Thurmont wouldn’t be able to get to the Mission,” she said. “We have great resources here, it’s just a matter of branching out and taking it to them.”
The week-long SEP in Thurmont will be able to accommodate 30 to 40 children, and will mirror what a normal day looks like at the SEP in Frederick — games, math and reading lessons, free lunch, outdoor activities, Bible lessons, storytime and crafts, with volunteers helping to facilitate the program and provide support and love to each child.
This year’s theme for both camps will be forgiveness. There will be a focus on the theme Bible verse Ephesians 4:32- “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” As students move through the program this summer, they will hear about the God that is kind and that forgives them, and in turn, learn how to be kind and forgive one another.
If you would like more information or to support the Summer Enrichment Program, please contact Teri Kwiatek at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-695-6633 x215.