The WE New York team recently spent a Friday afternoon administering arts and crafts and entertainment for the children of Citizen’s Daycare Center. The program is supported by United Way, a global volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that addresses important human needs in communities around the world.
WE Make a Difference Day started off with rain, broken down buses and subway rides to Harlem. Needless to say, the day was off to a rough start, and the New York team was preparing to spend the afternoon with a group of approximately 50 toddlers. We had no idea how much our day was about to be dramatically turned around by the energetic and playful children at the Citizen’s Daycare Center.
We were welcomed with outstanding enthusiasm from the employees at Citizen’s Daycare Center. Although we were soaking wet from the rain, their incredible energy engulfed us and quickly turned our spirits around, generating excitement throughout the team. We were prepped with cardboard picture frames, patterned stencils, markers and glue, and instructed to help the toddlers decorate picture frames. The children had a fabulous time drawing lines that represented Mommy and Daddy, but as curious and energetic youngsters naturally are, they quickly lost interest in their colorful picture frames and wanted to move around the room. No problem, Team WE-New York to the rescue! Team members Jeremy Bridgman, Brian Bennett and Joshil Vitha led an entire classroom dancing to the hokey pokey, while other team members got on the floor to play and read with the children.
Our day wasn’t over yet. What kind of daycare center would this be if we didn’t participate in dress up? The New York team spent over an hour preparing a 20 minute skit complete with scripts, costumes and props. We acted out three fairytales for the children and teachers, including the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Red Riding Hood. Thank goodness WE team members have innovative imaginations because we fashioned costumes, trees, houses and other props out of plastic table cloths, balloons and construction paper. All of our planning and crafting was time well spent to see dozens of little smiling faces admiring our entertainment!
About United Way and Citizen’s Daycare Center
United way helps the Citizen’s Daycare Center advance the quality and availability of daycare programs in the local Harlem community. Citizen’s Daycare is essential for the development of the Harlem community because it provides working parents a safe and educational environment for their children to grow. The center provides the tools and environment that give children the opportunity to mature to their greatest potential. The teachers proved to have a magnanimous degree of love and understanding for the different types of children. By providing support and respect, the teachers are establishing the strong foundations that will pave the rest of the lives for these children.