Blast from the Past!
2014 SUMMER AT A GLANCE
Ocean View Beach
Goodbyes and Hellos
Last Thursday was a sad day for the Park Place Child Life Center. Our beloved Operations Director, Emma Small, ended her time working with our organization. After nearly four years of dedicated service to the children of Park Place, and to the mission of PPCLC, Emma has now moved on to other exciting things, and we wish her the absolute best! Emma's heart for children and her commitment to giving our youth the best quality programming and materials available will be missed.
On the bright side of things, PPCLC has hired an energized and enthusiastic new Director to step in and take the reigns. Her name is Carolyn Clark and she is full of new ideas to help make our programming the best it can be. We are so happy to have Carolyn on our team, and we can't wait for you meet her!
Spring Arts Festival 2014
On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in May, the 9th Annual PPCLC Spring Arts Festival sprung up down the middle of 35th St. and brought a few hours of art, laughter, entertainment, food and family fun to Park Place. We are so grateful to all the volunteers and donors who made this event possible. Bravo!! You stepped up and created a beautiful moment for us to celebrate the art and artists of Park Place.
Kaevon Legrande became a Park Place Child Life Center volunteer in the fall of 2013. Originally he came to fulfill an obligation. One by one he brought a friend until several of his fraternity brothers were also volunteering. Through volunteering Kaevon has gained a greater perspective on the world around him and a keener sense of self-awareness. Please enjoy this short video of one volunteer’s perspective of the transforming nature of volunteering. Thank you Kaevon, and The Eta Omega Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at Old Dominion University for volunteering and for creating this beautiful video.
Atlantic Shores Youth Visit PPCLC
It's always an uplifting sight when we get to watch young people getting involved with volunteer work here at Park Place Child Life Center. Last Saturday the teen youth group from Atlantic Shores Baptist Church came out and volunteered with our elementary children and they did such a wonderful job! After providing a delicious lunch, one of the young ladies led a special devotional about the words that we speak to each other and how hard it is to take words back after they come out. As an example of this truth they invited four of the children to come squeeze a tube of toothpaste out and then see how much of it they could get back into the tube. Needless to say it got messy, but it made the point!
While the elementary children were working on their art project for the day, the teen boys and teen girls were busy in their own activities.
The last hour of programming was an absolute blast for the kids as they got to play some fun marshmallow games!
Back in Action
After a long two week break due to all the snow and school cancellations PPCLC is finally back. We had a wonderful group of After School volunteers show up to get things going again. Be sure to check out our Volunteer page if you are interested in getting involved in either our weekday or weekend programs. The more volunteers we have, the better we can serve our students.
Merry Christmas everyone! What an amazing time we had last week with our After School and Saturday Christmas parties. Thanks to all of your generous hearts we successfully reached our gift fund-raising goal and were able to provide fun and useful gifts to all of our children. Thank you so much for stepping up, spreading the word and helping us make this a wonderful end to 2013 for the children of Park Place. We felt so blessed to be able to stand in front of all our young friends and tell them how there are so many people they never even get to see who are loving and supporting them throughout the year. People who care about their lives and believe in their growth as students, artist, and children of God. God bless you all. We look forward to working along side all of you in 2014!
The children have been busy! We have a wonderful group of young artists coming to our after school and Saturday programing and they have been hard at work on some really fun pieces.
One of the creative young boys in our Saturday program decided to turn a paper pumpkin making project into a pumpkin hat! The clever idea was a hit with many of the other children who decided they wanted pumpkin hats too.
In anticipation of the approaching winter season, our after school art class started making some adorable little penguins.
Our kindergarten class made some cute paper mache pumpkins while our fourth and fifth grade art students painted some awesome Halloween Trees.
The after school art class has been hard at work creating some amazing and unique masks. Their designs are truly creative, and they are going to big hit at this years Spring Arts Festival. Check out a couple of the near complete masks below
Last Saturday our elementary group had the chance to make their own kites during the art activity hour. They wasted no time flying them around the park once we got outside for recreation.
Fall Programing Has Arrived
School is back in session, and PPCLC is up and running with our 2013 fall programming! We have a lot of changes going on for this new school year and we are very excited to see our students excel. In place of the usual homework sheets that we have worked with children on in the past, we are implementing a new strategy to help children in two of the greatest areas of academic need we see, math and reading. By getting them engaged with targeted games and activities that focus on different aspects of these key subjects we hope to be more effective at meeting the children where they are at and helping them move forward into greater success.
We are happy to welcome back Mr. McDonald and Ms. Mayaih for another year of awesome music classes, but we are also very happy to have two brand new art instructors. Ms. Danielle is taking over our older artist class and Ms. Christi (pictured above) is taking on our young artist class. We are blessed to get the chance to work with so many amazing instructors, and the children love them! Of course, none of this would work without the help of so many fantastic volunteers each week. If you are interested in volunteering we hope you will go to our Volunteer page today and fill out our application so you can get involved. We need you!
Painting A Winter Wonderland
This week, our art students in the afterschool program created some beautifully layered paintings of a snowy forest scene at sunset. Ms. Charlotte did a wonderful job helping them learn the techniques for painting the birch trees, shadowing, and how to create a cohesive picture using multiple layers of material.
Ben Carter, 5th Grade
Alex Bradley, 4th Grade
Israel Altamiranda, 3rd Grade
We are extremely grateful for the opportunity we have each week to open new doors of creativity for our students. Over and over again they are showing us how much amazing talent they have. Thank you to all of you who donate your time and resources so that we can continue this important work.
Beach Day Fun
Our last day of summer programming, a day on the beach, was a gift. The windy day provided a salty spray of churning cold waves. The donated burgers sizzled on the grill and were devoured by hungry swimmers.
The best part for me was the many volunteers who like lifeguards, eagle eyed every movement. Volunteers jumping the chilly waves while holding tight the hands of young non-swimmers. We could not offer these moments of stress free joy without you! Thank you.
Find more pictures of our summer adventures on our Photos Page!
Find more pictures of our summer adventures on our Photos Page!
VBS & Video Games
Last Saturday was quite a unique treat for the children here at PPCLC. Our elementary group spent the day learning and having fun with some fine folks from Second Presbyterian Church who put together a truly fun and educational Vacation Bible School program. It was full of games, drama, singing, and crafting. The children went from one engaging activity to the next, and all the while they were learning what it means to have faith in God.
Since the VBS programing was geared to engage mainly elementary age children, we decided to let the older teens do something special for the day. The older boys got to have a video game day where everyone brought their game system and games to play together. Aletheia Norfolk Church graciously hosted the guys in their building and also donated some pizzas for lunch. The teen girls had a decisively different afternoon spent getting their nails done and then getting treated to a delicious meal at Granny's Country Cooking. We are so grateful to all those businesses and churches who partnered with us to give the children such an awesome experience.
Virginia Zoo in Norfolk
The children had such a great time at the zoo. Although seeing the animals was awesome, the kids probably had the most fun playing in the water fountains. Even the "big" kids got in on the fountain action!
Summer Fun Has Begun!
The 2013 summer season is well underway and we are excited for some great activities coming up in July and August. This Saturday we will be going on an animal adventure to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. We look forward to getting a glimpse of the baby giraffe that was born recently as well as many other beautiful creatures.
Next week we have an awesome group from Williamsburg Community Chapel coming to lead a super fun game day. In August we are inviting back our friends from Second Presbyterian Church to host a day of Vacation Bible School with all of our elementary children. Next we will be heading out for our yearly trip to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. They have some gorgeous glass sculptures around the gardens for their Reflections of Nature exhibit that we know the children will love.
If you are interested in volunteering for any of these up coming events, please contact our Volunbteer Coordinator, Annie Blakey. If you are a new volunteer, please visit our Volunteer page where you can download our volunteer application.
Spring Arts Festival 2013
The 7th Annual Spring Arts Festival happened on May, 4th 2013. It was a celebration of all the learning and creating the children in our program have done over the last year and a recognition of many young and talented people that live in and around Park Place. Although the weather was looking grim during the morning hours as we set up, by the time the afternoon came around everything started to clear up and we had over 500 people come out to be a part of the event.
There were so many amazing people and organizations that made this event possible. Special thank you goes out to The Christopher Johnson McCandless Foundation, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and Norfolk Arts Commission for all their incredible support and donations.
Congratulations go out to Joseph Jones and Isaiah Brooks for taking second place in the Talent Show competition with a crowd inspiring drumming performance. We are so proud to see how far these young men have come in their drumming talents over the years. Taking first place in the this years competition was a lovely young lady who goes by the stage name Lady Lego. She performed an original rap song and wowed the judges with her lyrical flow, positive vibe, and confident stage presence.
Of course the Spring Arts Festival would have been incomplete without the presence of so many fantastic works of art that were created this year by our students. These works were done under the inspiration and direction of a number of instructors that we have had over the last year. We could not be more proud of the work our children produced, and we hope that we can continue to inspire them to pursue lives of creativity for years to come!
Art & Literature Unite!
We are so proud to announce that 11 of our students currently have artwork hanging in the Park Place Public Library. For the past 6 weeks these students have been working extra hard on creating pieces for a special project that PPCLC started with the library to bring art and literature together in a fun and unique way for the residents of Park Place.
There was a younger group of 3rd - 5th graders who did paintings with acrylics. They re-created scenes from some beautiful childrens books by authors like Ezra J. Keats. There was an older group of 6th - 10th graders who worked with charcoal and they also got to choose images from some well loved childrens books. We hope that you will get the opportunity to stop by the library and see all the great work our children did.
Botanical Garden Field Trip
Norfolk Botanical Garden invited us to come visit their beautiful oasis a few weeks ago and this week we were finally able to make the trip! We began with a picnic on the hill that faces Norfolk International Airport, and as we sat watching the planes take off from such an up close vantage point, feeling the sun beating on our skin, and eating our sandwiches, there was a sense of awe and wonderment in the air. After lunch we took a tram ride around the garden. Most people don't realize what a vast variety of plant life we have right in our own backyard. It was truly incredible. We are so grateful for partners like Norfolk Botanical Garden for providing these experiences for our students.
After our tram ride, we went to play on the Pirate ship playground and then headed on over to the World of Wonder: A Children’s Adventure Garden. This was probably the highlight of the trip for many of our students. There are sprinklers and fountains throughout that the children can play in. They also have gardens with plant life from far away lands and areas where children can learn about various forms of wildlife. While the children ran through the sprinklers and played outside you could hear squeals of delight and excitement. It was a day worth remembering, and we couldn't have made it happen without the generocity of our amazing volunteers. Thank you!
A Nautical Adventure
We were blessed Saturday to get to take 33 students over to Nauticus for a wonderfully fun and educational afternoon. Thanks to the YMCA and Aletheia Norfolk church we had two short buses that all of our volunteers and children fit in. Once we arrived we had a bag lunch picnic with ham sandwiches, chips, and fruit snacks on the deck outside Nauticus. Our first stop in Nauticus after lunch was to see an exciting science/history demonstration about the guns on the USS Wisconsin. It was very cool and some of our students even got to participate in a few of the experiments.
After that all the children split into groups of four or five with a volunteer and went exploring. Some of the highlights of their adventures were; touching sharks, going in a hurricane simulator, getting to use a Morse code telegram, building motorized aquatic vehicles, and going aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. We have some pictures up on our Picture page if you want to check out more of our fun trip!
Pure Platinum Bring the Goods!
Pure Platinum is a local motorcycle club who started volunteering during our Saturday program last month. Last Saturday they brought some special gifts to donate to our program including: a bunch of new board games for the children to play, a flat screen t.v., a dvd player, and a ton of movies. They were so thoughtful that they even brought batteries for some of the games that needed them! We are so grateful to the members of Pure Platinum for their amazing generosity.
Student Artist Highlight
Shantel Jones is a student from Maury highschool who has been attending Park Place Child Life Center since she was basically 8 years old. She is now 16, and over the years she has created many pieces of art and written a number of poems. Many of her poems have been highlited at our Annual Spring Arts Festivals and other PPCLC events. This particular poem found below was published on Altdaily's website as a part of an editorial one of our volunteers (Mary Westbrook) did about her time working with the teen girls in our program.
By Shantel, 15
Can you hear what I hear?
Do you feel what I feel?
I think about the Shake.
I awake from my dreams.
Can you help me?
Do you ever feel like you can’t get out,
when the Shake is all that you hear?
You hear about God.
Let me know how I can get out