At the annual KidCare Holiday Party, children from Prospect afterschool had the opportunity to celebrate the season with special treats, gifts, and activities, facilitated by KidCare volunteers and Prospect afterschool staff.
The event offers the children a memorable start to the holiday season, and ensures that they have the opportunity to take full part in holiday traditions like gingerbread house decorating, gift-giving, and storytelling.
In one corner, younger children took advantage of an art project station, painting their own ornaments, assembling bracelets, and crafting a felt holiday scene, while older children socialized and played board games with volunteers.
In another, participants teamed up with staff and volunteers to construct and decorate their own gingerbread houses.
Still others stopped by a station staffed by volunteers offering temporary tattoos of watches, monsters, butterflies, sweet treats, and more. Enthusiasts quickly learned how to use the tattoos themselves, and began applying them to one another.
The highlight of the party was an animated storytelling session by author Patricia Cardello, who read from her book, The Magical Tale of Santa Dust.
The children were delighted by the tale, with Cardello encouraging them to actively participate in the storytelling by engaging them with thoughtful comprehension questions.
After the reading, the children received their own copies of The Magical Tale of Santa Dust before receiving gifts and goodie bags from volunteers.
The evening winded down with Cardello signing books and chatting with the children as they unwrapped Elsa dolls, Hot Wheels trucks, and make-your-own slime kits.
The annual event is characteristic of the kind of special engagement that KidCare regularly facilitates for young people in HFH programming, sponsoring and providing volunteer staff for HFH sports teams, educational field trips, and special events.
Tierra Gunther, Partnerships Associate for HFH, lauds the special relationships KidCare volunteers have cultivated with children in HFH programs over the course of a ten-year-long partnership.
“Our children enjoy the services, time, and effort that KidCare puts in to give them opportunities to just be kids,” she says.
KidCare’s dedication to providing unique recreational programming is especially welcome during the holiday season, which Gunther notes can be a particularly challenging time for families in HFH programming.
“Every year, KidCare puts together a holiday party for children and becomes a part of creating memories for our children for years to come,” she says.