Summertime Opportunities for Kids Offer Relief for Working Parents
Summer break can be stressful for families who are homeless or living at or below the poverty line. For parents who work or who are in the process of searching for work, the structure of the school day along with after-school programs, such as the Tutoring Club at Raphael House, offers them a reliable source of childcare while providing their children the academic foundation and the emotional acuity they need to have a brighter future. And in some instances, as with kids who have special needs, the continuity of a day-to-day routine is critical to their developmental success.
One of the ways we support families is by providing parents with financial resources or referrals to partner programs in order to secure meaningful activities for their kids to participate in during the summer. We provide this support directly to families as scholarships that allow children in grades K-12 to attend summer camps, academic programs, and other extracurricular activities, such as day and overnight trips. We also provide one-on-one career development services to help older kids secure summer internships or jobs.
Last summer, several of our kids enjoyed time at Steve & Kate’s camp thanks to Bravo Top Chef Master Jonathan Waxman, who requested that in lieu of paying him his fee for designing their food program, that the camp donate $25,000 in scholarships to pay for Raphael House kids to attend the camp. Raphael House supporter Master Chef Junior finalist Samuel Stromberg, who has also designed programs for Steve & Kate’s, has also been a big advocate of our program among the camp’s staff!
Eight of our teens traveled to Southern California to tour colleges such as California Institute of Technology and UC San Diego, while visiting cultural sites such as Griffith Observatory. One of our teens attended an aeronautical program in Florida then spent time in Massachusetts taking summer courses at MIT. Raphael House teens also enjoyed the teamwork and comradery of a white water rafting trip in Lotus, California.
With generous support from our donors, we were able to provide 93 children with scholarships for summer activities this year! The scholarships were provided directly by Raphael House or as in-kind donations from our community partners.