The P.O.W.E.R. of Play

School’s out and over 100 kids are attending a summer camp for free thanks to generous supporters like you who donated to United Way’s Best Summer Ever. We’ve once again partnered with The Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and Proehlific Park to provide kids with a meaningful summer camp experience that will help them return to the classroom better equipped to stay on track and succeed.

Research shows keeping kids engaged in learning over the summer months is critical to academic success. Programming offered at these camps will not only keep kids engaged in learning but will also provide mentoring to encourage character growth.

Proehlific Park, operated by former NFL star Ricky Proehl, offers summer camp slots through the P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation. The foundation teaches the core values of Play, Opportunity, Work, Excellence and Respect (P.O.W.E.R).

Julia Eger, the foundation’s executive director says they are always excited to partner with United Way’s Best Summer Ever.

“I’ve heard stories about kids who end up staying home over the summer, some who have stayed home alone while their parents work. It’s not hard to image how this can lead to a lot problems,” says Julia.

“This is why I’m so excited about welcoming kids to Proehlific Park. It gets them out and active, and also provides a safe place where they can come and have mentors, because a lot of them don’t have that.”

At United Way’s Community Speaker Series in May, Mariah, a local mother of son who attended Proehlific Park’s summer camp last year spoke about the experience and said, “My son got off that camp bus with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. He was so excited.”

Julian attended Prolific Park’s summer camp last year. Above he checks out the room at United Way’s Speaker Series while his mother tells the crowd when he got off the camp bus last year he had the biggest smile she’d ever seen.

According to Julia, United Way’s partnership is helping reach local families who haven’t heard about the park or foundation.

“We want to be able to reach as many families and children as we can and empower hundreds of children along the way. United Way is helping us reach our goal.”

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