When I think back on my childhood, I see that some of my most significant growth and learning occurred during extracurricular activities. For me, it was band where I developed and honed my leadership skills, time management skills, and found a sense of community. For you, maybe it was sports or dance or drama.
Children growing up in financial poverty often have a limited ability to participate in extracurricular activities, mainly due to the cost of participation and equipment. Sometimes the limiting factor is lack of transportation. All children can benefit from finding an activity about which they are passionate and where they can build self-esteem and confidence, improve social skills, and just have fun!
Because of this, Thrive! has obtained funding from the Youth Impacting Community Grant (a program of the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation), the Manhattan Optimist Club, and private donors to form a youth activity fund. While most of our Leaders qualify for scholarships through Parks and Rec, the remaining cost of participation is often more than they have available, and other community activities often lack scholarships.
Since the inception of this fund, two Thrive! children have attended art classes, two have attended a dance clinic, one has attended a horse clinic, three have been enrolled in summer sports through Parks and Rec, four signed up for summer basketball camp, and three attended summer Boys and Girls Club.
We would like to continue to grow this fund so every child has a chance to learn new skills. Would you like to donate to our youth activity fund and benefit the 26 children currently involved with Thrive!? If so, send a check to Thrive! at 612 Poyntz, Manhattan, KS 66502 and put youth activity in the memo line or make an online donation at www.thriveflinthills.com/invest.html and make a note that your donation is for the youth activity fund in the "special notes to seller" field.
—Jayme Morris-Hardeman, executive director
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