Summer is over…at least that’s what Chandler schools say! It passes quickly when there are only 7 weeks off, but we filled it with lots of fun at our 1st ever Live Love Summer Days program. Every Wednesday morning we opened up the Live Love House to neighborhood kids and families for food, fun and fitness. We had a great time! Overall we had 17 different kiddos participate in the activities, 11 of which attended 3 or more of our 7 weeks. Throw in another 10 or so volunteers and their kids, and it was a real party!

Last Friday we celebrated their accomplishments with a family BBQ on the front lawn. We grilled burgers and hot dogs and played Octoball and Cornhole.

Thanks to some great donations, we gave out awards for participation. Each one that participated 3 times or more this summer received a gift card to shop for their own backpack. This was a big hit!   They were each able to fill a plastic bag of supplies to take home and put into their backpacks once purchased. Each one who participated in the reading challenge was also awarded a lower level, box seat for this weekend’s Diamondback baseball game! What a night!

A big thank you to Apollo Educational Group , Char Cammans at United Brokers Group, and Great Choice Chiropractic  for the awesome prizes and donations!

As the sun began to set, we sat down and reflected back on our favorite moments over the summer. Some kids loved the water games, like water balloon dodge-ball.

Another remembered the geocaching activity at Veteran’s Oasis Park.

One loved our outing to the movies with treats included.

Another talked about our card-embossing day, and still another mentioned the “scientific” bracelets that were made.

And of course someone had to remind us all of the day the kids beat the adults in tug-of-war.

We learned about jazz and made tie-dye shirts.

Ten of the kids participated in the reading challenge, sharing with others what they were reading and what they enjoyed about that book.

We always had breakfast and snack, and we always had fun.

So we celebrated our summer together and realized that in those 7 weeks of fun and activity, we had accomplished so much more…we had created community! We connected with each other and made friends. And this was the greatest reward of all! We look forward to continuing with those friendships and adding to them this year.

Annabelle Chinchen