June 8 Kickoff to Feature Activities for the Whole Family!


Flier about June 8 event.

To kick off our Summer 2015 program, we’re joining forces with area social service agencies to provide activities for the whole family on our first day of service: Monday, June 8, 2015.

The “Safe Summer Kickoff” event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 8, on the lawn of the historic Ranshaw House, 515 W. Penn St., in North Liberty. If the weather is bad, the event will be moved to the lower level of the nearby Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St.

The rest of the summer (weekdays June 9-August 14, excluding July 3), our Summer Lunch & Fun Program will feature free food and activities for kids up to age 18. The June 8 event is a one-day collaboration with the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, the Johnson County Breakthrough Series Collaborative Team, and Johnson County Americorps.

“The goal of our ‘Safe Summer Kickoff’ is provide a fun environment for families to interact and learn more about programs that will help children and families stay safe and active throughout the summer,” said Raquishia Harrington, site director of the Broadway Neighborhood Center. “Collaborating with the North Liberty summer lunch program seemed like a great way to help our program reach more North Liberty families.”

During the June 8 event, “we will provide picnic-style food such as hotdogs, pulled-chicken sandwiches, desserts, and salads. Activities will be a variety of carnival style games and field games,” Harrington said.

Last summer, the North Liberty Summer Lunch & Fun Program served more than 2,500 free meals to children. Again this summer, it will provide free lunch for kids up to age 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and free activities from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays June 8 through August 14, excluding July 3.

However, the Summer Lunch program will be hosted at a new location this year: outside the Ranshaw House at 515 W. Penn St. instead of outside the nearby community center. In bad weather, the program will still be moved to the lower level of the nearby Community Center, 520 W. Cherry St.

“We are looking forward to another exciting summer,” said Tracey Mulcahey, a program organizer and assistant city manager in North Liberty. “Combining our first day of service with the Neighborhood Centers’ summer kickoff event is going to be a fantastic introduction to our program. We had so much fun last year, and know the program helped build a stronger sense of community among so many families.”

“Families who came to the program last summer are excited to hear about what will be happening this year,” said Tina DuBois, director of the North Liberty Community Pantry, which hosts the program’s lunch and activity once a week. “The program is a great chance for children to have a meal and stay active over the summer. One grandmother said that her grandchildren woke up early all summer last year and would ask if it was time to go to the summer lunch and fun.”

The summer lunch program still welcomes adult volunteers to help serve food or host children’s activities (VOLUNTEER INFO & SIGNUP). Food service volunteers are asked to help from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Activities can be hosted by anyone, and these volunteers are asked to provide an activity to entertain the children from 11:45 am. to 1 p.m. Last summer, the majority of children are between 2 and 11 years old, and the program served an average of 60 meals per day, attendance ranging from 30 to 100 kids.

“Last year, activities included cupcake decorating, bubble fun, container gardening, soccer, music, yoga, and a butterfly demonstration,” Mulcahey said. “We are fortunate to have so many business owners and residents willing to work with the kids to introduce them to new and fun activities.”

Area organizations and businesses serving youth and families are invited to bring a display table or hand out fliers during the June 8 event. Contact raquishia-harrington@ncjc.org for details.

For more information about the summer lunch program, visit our website at https://nlsummerlunch.wordpress.com. Information about the Neighborhood Center and its youth programs is online at http://www.ncjc.org/.June8Flier