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New Opportunities Enriching the Lives of Our Youth

During this summer many of the children at Deer Ridge had the opportunity to participate in a variety of enrichment activities offered at Deer Ridge in collaboration with various community resources. At Deer Ridge a summer Reading Program was initiated, transportation was organized for the Des Moines Schools summer lunch program, and a summer Art and Science camp was introduced. All of these at no cost to the families.

Teri DeGeest, Supportive Service Coordinator, was able to allocate $1000 in matching funds to introduce a new Art and Science Camp at no cost to the children. This was overseen by Anthony Tweh the Executive Director of Child Future International.

Twice a week the children participated in a two hour group. The first hour focused on anger management, problem solving, citizenship, and relationships. The second hour was engrossed the children in and art or science lab.

As a wrap up to the summer programming a field trip was organized to the Blank Park Zoo. In collaboration with Judy Conlin, CEO of Iowa International Center, Supportive Services was able to allocate a donation of free tickets for 25 people to the zoo. On behalf of Anthony Tweh, the Variety Club donated a bus to transport the children to and from the zoo.

The day of the trip 6 volunteers accompanied 22 children for supervision. Many of the children, some even new to the country, had never been to the zoo. It was exciting to see their faces and the enjoyment they felt on this outing. One child asked, "They have giraffes in zoos?" When told yes he stated "My grandma had 3 living in her back yard in Africa."

It was a great end to a new opportunity of enriching the lives of these youth.

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