Children from K-12 meet every Thursday afternoon throughout the summer to participate in arts and crafts, outdoor games and field trips.
When: Thursdays 1:00-3:00 pm
Where: Clinton Park and Recreation, Rt. 81
Summer Partners Vision:
Summer Partners strongly emphasizes the promotion of teamwork and leadership skills in children of all ages. Its most fundamental principal states that “everyone” is important and has strengths and encourages an atmosphere of mutual acceptance among peers. Children are encouraged to return to Summer Partners each year to model behaviors that promote helping, caring, sharing, respecting each other, and building trust.
Each year, over 70% of participants return to play an important ongoing role of mentoring younger children and modeling for newcomers the values which are the cornerstone of Summer Partners. For most, Summer Partners becomes more than just “that program I did one summer” and serves as another “homebase” where they experience a true sense of belonging and acceptance. This “homebase” extends its membership to entire families as many siblings participate in Summer Partners together, and many parents become integrally involved in the planning and facilitation of various events.
Little Friends (K-3):
Young children from Clinton have a unique opportunity to develop a special friendship with a high school student who is a positive role model. Children can participate just for fun, or may have goals identified by their parents to work on including building self esteem, practicing social skills, and learning to share. Little Friends, who return to Summer Partners in following summers, model its values and help show the routine to new participants.
Junior Helpers (4-5):
Junior Helpers are 4th and 5th graders who continue to meet throughout the Summer months with the K through 12 group on Thursdays. They no longer are matched with a high school friend and their primary focus becomes building friendships and socializing with one another. They assist with snack and share ideas about activities and games. Again, their ability to model positive behaviors is an integral part of the success of Summer Partners. Their job is to lead, to grow in discovering their strengths, and to have fun.
Students in Junior High become a part of a special leadership program which meets an additional day each week to generate ideas for games and crafts for the large group and to test them out with the guidance of a facilitator. During meetings with the entire group (K-12), they are placed in leadership roles in which they teach the activities to other participants in the program. A Helper who displays an appropriate level of maturity may be called upon at any time to substitute as a Big Friend if needed.
Big Friends (9-12):
High School students who are responsible role models go through an extensive application and interview process to become a mentor to a child from K-3 for the summer. Once accepted into Summer Partners, they are trained prior to each Thursday session in how to build self esteem, set appropriate limits and encourage development of social skills in children. Summer Partners can be an excellent fun opportunity for those interested in pursuing careers in social work, counseling, teaching or other related fields. Many of our big friends just like kids and want to make a difference.