A cool Welcome to Summer
A cool Welcome to Summer
Scores of children fluttered about like butterflies as they ran to and fro in the backyard of 71 Cherry Street. Nearly one hundred kids vied to either get the best spot on the long silver slide or to be the first to shoot three points in the b-ball hoop.
But in many cases kids simply reconnected with their fellow peers from the neighbor hood whom they have not seen since the last snow melted in spring. Hugs and smiles went the girls’ greetings, while boys passed out hand pounds and stern looks - this was the unifying start to the second annual Welcome Summer Cookout on Friday June 11th.
“We are all going to be here together in that we are going to continue to…bring peace to the Area 4 community” yelled Shayla, staff member at the Community Arts Center (CAC) in Area 4.
SEE PICS http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonibeez
SEE VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPazrnMqcHU
Peace and building relationships amongst youth and community agencies is the goal of the welcome summer events, an idea initiated in 2009 by Ardeene Goodridge. But Goodridge, the Area 4 coordinator, humbly admits that much of the cookout came to fruition due to efforts by the three youth focused agencies involved: The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, the CAC, and the Boys and Girls Club.
The celebration included old and new school tunes by DJ Casey, juggling by Jenny the Juggler while volunteers catered to the needs of Area 4 residents. “I am thinking about being a teacher so I wanted to see about interacting with kids. And helping others is better than sitting at home”, said Sonny a Boston University student who passed out grilled goodness at the burger and hotdogs stand.
Neighborhood sergeants Sil Ferreira and Tom Ahern came to the event too.As for entertainment, the youth were the headlining acts. Performances included explosive dancing from Margaret Fuller and Boys and Girl’s Club kids; and singing by Christiany, Stephanie and others left an impression on the faces of many in attendance
A bout of the electric slide ended the Welcome Summer cookout just as a few parents began to chat about the programs their children attend, the ones that as parents they appreciate. Charlene Harrison extolled the Boys and Girls Club for their “cultural diversity “ and for the fact that “they acknowledge the kids accomplishments”.
Two Ethiopian mothers, Almaz and Azeb sat apart from the crowd observing the cookout and keeping their eyes peeled for their traipsing children. Almaz said that, “It is good to get together – for the kids it is good”. And peaceful togetherness indeed is a hope that brews among the Area 4 neighborhood as it vaults into a ‘cool’ summer.