RECREATION at CARES is filled with moments devoted to building healthy lifestyles and closing the opportunity gap. Many of those that we serve do not have consistent access to diverse extra-curricular activities. With the generous support of partners like Tickets For Kids and Venture Outdoors, CARES has taken a stance that cultural and recreational activities are key to overall growth and development.
Recreational sports have been reported as a catalyst for productive life change. These activities create positive outcomes such as confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, trust, self reliance and leadership abilities.
“Over the last 16 years however, sports, outdoor pursuits and constructive leisure activities have been a well established feature of initiatives whose aim is to divert offenders and young people at risk away from crime” (Eastleigh, 2007).
Therefore, participating in recreational activities can help young men and women stay away from crime and support their ability to become leaders.
For over TEN YEARS ,CARES has hosted a Summer Basketball League.
Recreational sports are important to the quality of life and communities. It has been long associated with benefits to health such as a decrease in heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It also helps combat obesity numbers with regular physical activity among people and communities.
CARES’ commitment to EDUCATION is a reflection of our understanding of its value as a tool to access one’s future. CARES has explored new and creative ways to deliver academic fundamentals to its students. We expose them to invigorating ways to experience learning outside the classroom. Going into its 6th year of the College Tour, students have traveled to institutions of higher learning and discovered how to access available opportunities.
As a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up. – 44th President of the United States – Barack H. Obama
Communities battling the lack of healthy food options has led to a high proportion of obese and overweight children. African-American children are lying at the forefront of this issue, placing them at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases later in life. Diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease are common among underserved communities. In addition, owed to higher rates of asthma, African-American children are absent three times more than their white peers, which pose educational consequences for learning and achievement.
CARES has been combating this prevalent issue, not only through its offering of healthy snacks and meals, but also through health education.
Teaching through peer to peer instruction is an effective mechanism for learning. CARES utilizes this method through many of its electives. This has allowed for strengthened engagement and provided an opportunity for students to play an active role in their education.
At the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center, students and visitors are encouraged to access the available technology so that they may discover the world without borders. With SMARTBoards, high-speed internet connections, and focused electives, CARES is closing the digital divide in collaboration with Neighborhood Allies.
S signals the SERVICES that CARES offers. In addition to the transportation services and our meal program, CARES is proud to serve the families through the Family Matters series, a program designed to strengthen families. Yet, it doesn’t end there. CARES has been dedicated to serving communities through neighborhood clean-ups that have stretched across oceans. Through a partnership with Amizade, students and staff engaged in the renovation of an elementary school in Petersfield, Jamaica.
CARES links with diverse community partners to extend services and opportunities to students. With resources from generous supports like UPMC, book bags were distributed to local students and to our partner school, the Cheery Children Education Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya.