In order to bring local children different learning opportunities, monetary donations are being collected online through the month of February to support the Youth Enrichment Spring Kickoff scheduled to take place on March 20.
The Youth Enrichment Spring Kickoff is slated to be an outdoor event bringing children ages 4-14 learning opportunities in art, science, physical fitness, and health. The event is a collaboration between local community empowerment organizations Long Beach City Resources, Urban Reset, Briq Community, The CRayProject and Urban Society Long Beach.
The money raised online will be used to help pay for the event’s workshop materials, prizes, swag bags, food, snacks and event equipment as well as other materials needed.
In order to make the enrichment event what they envisioned for the children, the event organizers are hoping to raise anywhere from $600 to $1,000-according to Long Beach Resources founder Chelsea Nicholson.
“We’ve kind of theoretically thought like ‘okay, if we can get, at least $600 to $1,000 or something, then we can really spoil the kids, really send them home with a good amount of things,’” Nicholson said referring to the swag bags, resource packets and prizes that are planned for the children.
The community outreach that Long Beach City Resources does is based on donations from the community and collaborations, as they do not receive any funding. Urban Reset sells merch with proceeds going to events and community work.
Neither organization is letting the lack of funding stop them from putting together this event for local children.
A bake sale to raise funds for the Youth Enrichment Kickoff is also taking place in the month of February.
Additionally, Long Beach City Resources announced they will also be selling shirts to raise additional funds. To place an order send them a direct message on their Instagram @lbcresources. Proceeds from the first round will be going to the Youth Enrichment Spring Kickoff. Proceeds from orders coming after the first round of shirts will go toward funding future LBC Resources events and projects.
Monetary donations made online go toward a youth enrichment event
The idea for the youth enrichment event came about when Nicholson and the LBC Resources team along with McCall Jr., sat down to discuss what they wanted to do this year.
According to McCall Jr., the idea to host an event for the children came naturally because everyone involved has a passion for supporting kids and the community.
“We really wanted to do something that was just for the kids[…],” Nicholson said of the idea behind the event. “Organically out of the conversation we decided like ‘oh, that’d be cool to have people come teach the kids different things and also the kids won’t realize it’s educational’ […] but it is.”
Some of the workshops being planned for March’s event are creative in nature and range from an intro to tie-dye to jewelry-making to basketball basics and more with a lunch break in between.
For Nicholson and others involved, it is important that the children find this experience both fun and educational.
“How do we make this beneficial to them, but in a way that they’re going to enjoy it,” Nicholson said. “You know, introduce them to new ways of learning, like learning isn’t just math and science. It can be a lot of different […] subjects.”
They are planning to hold two workshops per hour, with booths nearby containing games for children who want to skip out on a workshop, a mini resource fair and a craft table, all with COVID-19 safety precautions in place.
Enrichment event will include informational resources for the entire family
According to Nicholson, there is an array of informational resources planned that will highlight different organizations that provide services for not just the children but also their families. Some of those include mental health resources, information on record expungement clinics and legal services in the community and how to get connected with them.
“We plan to send kids home with an entire folder full of resources in the community for them and their families,” Nicholson said. Keeping in mind COVID-19 precautions, they would like to host at least four to five organizations in-person.
The importance of enrichment activities
The opportunity to help local children also means a lot to McCall Jr., whose organization has been involved in different youth enrichment activities.
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“It’s really important to me,” McCall Jr. said. “My path is in social work, the drive to just help kids and just kind of be of support but mainly like give them an opportunity, it’s just great to me.”
For McCall Jr. the children’s enrichment event embodies some of the values of his organization and others involved, which include supporting the youth in the community, helping them make choices to do better, and the ability to challenge themselves.
In an Instagram post made by Long Beach City Resources, they explain the benefits of children gaining exposure to new subjects and disciplines in order to give insight into why kids will benefit from the Youth Enrichment Kickoff.
“An enrichment program of any kind gives students the opportunity to try new things, gives them a chance to branch out and learn about things they may not have considered before,” one of the slides said.
“Younger children can use this exposure to develop unique interests,” the post continued.
The target audience for the event is elementary and middle school-aged children, but all ages are welcomed. People will be asked to RSVP ahead of the event to ensure COVID-19 precautions. Those details will be forthcoming.
According to Nicholson, a similar event is being discussed for late summer that will focus on teenagers ages 16 and older with workshops centering on job applications, interview prep, how to fill out a FAFSA application, budgeting, and more.
For now, fundraising for the Youth Enrichment Spring Kickoff continues through the month of February.
Anyone interested in donating in support of the Youth Enrichment Spring Kickoff can do so through the following: