For as long as I can remember, movement and exercise have helped me de-stress and clear my head from whatever may be going on in my life. Exercise in the form of sports and performance arts has been built into Deerfield life, and my access to after-school activities and summer camps in elementary and middle school are things that I have often taken for granted. My summer project is all about making stimulating, active programs more accessible to children of low-income families or single parents who work full-time. From July 18-22, I will be supporting a cost-covered movement camp for eight children at a dance studio in my hometown in North Carolina. The majority of the support I will be providing will include a healthy, allergy-friendly lunch and snack bags to send home with the children.
According to feedingamerica.org, 22 million kids across the United States go hungry during the summer because they do not have access to free school meals. One of my goals for this week is to make sure that the children have access to lunch at camp and a meal-sized snack to take home with them; to fully benefit from the movement camp, the kids need to be well-nourished. I have experienced firsthand the lack of quality nutrition education in my county’s school system, despite their best efforts. By making snack bags with nutrient-dense, healthy foods, I hope to lead by example and encourage the children attending the camp to make healthy choices if and when they are presented an opportunity to do so. I would like to thank Juxtaposition Studios and its owner, Ms. K Partridge, for making this program possible.
-Elizabeth Richards ‘24