A Summer of "Firsts"

Cocoa and BebetoDo you remember some of your “firsts?” How about the first sport you ever played or the first speech you ever gave? Or maybe the first song you ever sang? Firsts always stand out in our minds, don’t they? I remember the first time I flew on a plane. I courageously boarded, slightly afraid the plane might crash. My Grandma met me at the gate when I arrived and for the next week I explored new places and experienced many “firsts” with her that summer.

Since we couldn’t put our students on a plane, we fictitiously traveled the United States in six-weeks—allowing them to explore Washington D.C., California, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Florida.

Our students experienced new places and things through museums, parks, videos, art, dance and food--all of which provided an opportunity for several “firsts” this year at Summer Jam. “I helped make a movie for the first time,” said Myra (age 11). Her face was one big grin as she grabbed my hand and motioned for me to sit beside her during the Annual Summer Jam Talent Show and watch the movie that she helped makeFor some of our students it was their first performance—singing or dancing—in our talent Show. Others made their first sculpture or painted their first abstract piece of art.

For Cocoa (age 9) and Bebeto (age 12) it was their first time bowling. “I wasn’t very good,” said Cocoa. “I never hit a pin, and my ball rolled to the side every time.” However, she still listed it among her favorite things (along with skating), because both happened to be firsts. Bebeto proudly announced, "I got a strike!"

Even without a plane, there were many “firsts” stamped on our kids’ hearts this summer—the kind of stamps that never fade. Thanks for making these firsts possible through your giving. 

--Written by: Sarah Gregory

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