St. Paul’s participation in this year’s B-SAFE program was enthusiastic and appreciated! B-SAFE (the Bishop’s Summer Academic & Enrichment Program) is a free, five-week, full-day program serving young people from first grade through high school. Generally led by program alumni, B-SAFE aims to build a community where all people feel safe, feel big, and feel connected. Each of the six B-SAFE sites includes academic programs, recreational activities, and field trips.
St. Paul’s partnered with Church of the Good Shepherd (Reading) during B-SAFE’s July 15th week. Our parishioners provided two days of healthy breakfasts and lunches (with packaged-up leftovers) and helped with the Friday field trip to Reading.
Heather Doyle coordinated St. Paul’s participation this year, with mentoring from Karen McAlmon who has been involved in B-SAFE for several years. B-SAFE is a “unique and powerful way to create weeks of great memories for these kids,” said Heather. “We witnessed the affirmations the staff blanketed on the kids throughout the week: ‘You are smart, you are great, you have so much to be thankful for.’
“The challenge on the field trip,” said Heather, “is keeping 45-60 kids (depending on the year) busy, happy, smiling, and entertained in a new way every 45 minutes throughout the day. But according to the campers, we achieved our mission! Face painting, small crafts and take-home art, a dance clinic, a super reptile show, and PIZZA!
“We are lucky to have a role in these campers’ days,” she said.
Being an active supporter of B-SAFE takes a small army, and the people of St. Paul’s stepped up to help. Deep thanks to all who made food donations, volunteered, and supported the work done during the week: Amy, Barbara, Ben, Briana, Carol, Jay, Jen, Jim, Jonna, Josh, Karen M., Karen R., Kathleen, Katie, Mark, Martha, Patti, Priscilla, Sheila, Tom, and Viviana. Thanks to all for making these kids’ week a good one!