Closing Our Summer with Open Minds, Hearts

July 21, 2016

bell scholar 5Our BELL Summer School Camp for 60 rising first through third graders from some of Charlotte’s most fragile neighborhoods concludes next Wednesday afternoon. I hope you can join us to celebrate this fifth year of partnering with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life).

Before I tell you what to expect at our celebration, I want to tell you about the minds that were opened this summer, thanks to your contributions.

  • These energetic and enthusiastic youngsters have excelled in their morning studies, which centered around reading and math.
  • They’ve experienced yoga, science, Legos, cooking, art, music, character education and swimming lessons at the Dowd YMCA.
  • On Fridays, they’ve enjoyed field trips to Stowe Botanical Gardens, Concord Aquarium, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Knight’s Stadium, a play at Central Piedmont Community College and bowling.

What a rich summer you’ve made possible for these children!

I want you to know that these children weren’t the only ones who have had their minds opened this summer. In addition to volunteer tutors from our congregation, this program brings together Speech and Hearing therapists, certified teachers and classroom assistants. If they are like me, they’ve had their minds and hearts opened during our six weeks with our BELL scholars. We’ve been blessed by their smiles, their laughter, their spontaneous hugs, and the light in their eyes as they’ve had experiences that some of us might take for granted in our own children’s lives.

I’d love for you to experience a fraction of what I’ve experienced from being around these children this summer. So please consider joining the scholars and staff for a celebration in the Wood Fellowship Hall from 1:00 – 2:15 pm on Wednesday, July 27.  Each class will perform a song or skit and we’ll show a video capturing our summer. Awards will be given and ice cream will conclude the event.

Thank you for your participation, prayers and financial contributions.  The lives of the most fragile in our city were made abundantly richer! And if you join us for the closing ceremony, I can pretty much guarantee that your life will be made richer, too.

~ Lisa Dillard, Community Engagement Coordinator

Look for more photos from our BELL Summer Scholars in this week’s issue of FirstNEWS             in the mail or on information tables at church on Sunday.