Student News

CSGC Summer Grant Update

Koeppel, Claire – September 5, 2017

This summer, I utilized my grant that I had received from the CSGC for an organization called the Fresh Air Fund. Specifically, I worked with the Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns. Friendly Towns is where children ages 7-18 who come from low-income families and live in New York City, specifically apartment buildings, pair with a host family that lives outside of the five boroughs and is surrounded by nature. The children that sign up for the Fresh Air Fund get to go to these host families for one week, completely free of charge, and experience the outdoors and nature like they have never experienced it before.
Personally, coming from New York City myself, I value nothing more than arriving in Deerfield every fall, because that means I am able to get a break from the bustling city life and am able to relax and get some fresh air. This personal connection with the Fresh Air Fund is why I wanted to get involved.
Although getting on the bus and being shipped out to the countryside is such an exciting and new experience for most of the children, I know that leaving the comfort and safety of your own home can be difficult. I used my grant to make the transition between hugging their moms and dads goodbye to getting on the bus much easier. The grant money allowed me to buy a fidget spinner for every child who participated in the Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns organization. On the day that the buses were departing, I announced to all the children that they would each be getting a fidget spinner for themselves, and the excited screams that followed astounded me. Every single child lined up with a gigantic smile on their face and received their spinner. I am so happy that I was able to receive a grant from the CSGC this summer because although giving out a fidget spinner is so small, it was the most meaningful part of my summer.