MIDDLETOWN, CT - The Salvation Army’s three-week “Summer Fun” program of reading, learning and exploring ran in July and enriched the lives of children ages 7 to 12 years old in Middletown, Connecticut. Summer Fun, which ran weekdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm, provided breakfast and lunch, book reading, study time, summer homework help, guest speakers and group outings.
Last October, Lan Chi's Vietnamese Restaurant held their Inaugural Purple Carpet Charity Gala, which raised over $8,000 to benefit The Middletown Salvation Army. The funds raised from the event allowed for the creation of the Summer Fun 2018 program. Owner Chu Ngo is active in the community and loves working with and supporting children.
Many community volunteers also made this program possible including some Middletown firefighters who played basketball with the children and taught them the importance of exercising through workout routines. Volunteer musicians came to play music, teach guitar, drums, music composition and answer questions from the children including what inspired them to play their chosen instrument. Gregory Sneed, Police Chief from Central Connecticut State University, played saxophone. Another volunteer, Jeff Hush, taught Tai Chi once a week. A professor and student from Wesleyan University came every day to help the children with reading and summer homework and also went on outings.
One such outing was to The Board Room on Main Street in Middletown. Tenzin Masselli helped the children explore the many gaming options available to them. They had the opportunity to visit Liberty Bank where CEO Mr. Chandler J. Howard gave a tour of the entire building including his office! Another outing was a visit to Community Health Center to explore their rooftop garden and beautiful water fountain.
Environmental Scientist Kelly Kerrigan from Milone & MacBroom discussed wetlands and the important role they play in the health of the environment. Distinguished guest speaker Dr. Michael T. Conner, Middletown School Superintendent, stopped by one day to have lunch. Children were able to ask many great questions and he was more than happy to answer them all!
“I am grateful for all our community partners and volunteers involved in our summer program,” said Lieutenant Jose Hernandez, of The Salvation Army in Middletown. “It amazed me to see talented volunteers engage and invest in children and making their futures bright.”