Motivation for the Marketplace

Kids Are Something Else, But About the Same

The school year ended this week for most children here in Dallas. I can still remember the feeling of delicious liberation as I walked (or more accurately, ran) out of the school building in late May every year. Summer! Talk about opportunity.

For me as a child, summer meant Little League baseball, swimming, mowing lawns, bike rides, and long, wonderful stretches of free time. A few years later I filled my summer with more serious employment, dates, training for dreaded two-a-day football workouts and family vacations.

Things sure seem different today, and in so many ways things are. But, you know, at heart, kids remain the same.

Last week I led two small groups of youth workers on a "tour" of the activity areas at Roseland Homes, the historic public housing project located at Washington Street and Central Expressway near downtown. Roseland Homes contains over 600 dwellings. Well over 1,000 children live in this sprawling housing development--a thousand kids with summer staring them in the face. I partnership with the Dallas Public Schools, we plan to offer Kids Kamp, an eight-week enrichment program to compliment the Summer Lunch Program at Roseland Homes.

As we walked out of the manager's office area, several elementary school age children greeted us. We stopped to talk to two girls who will enter fifth grade next year.

I asked them, "Would you like to come to camp this summer?"

Wide-eyed and enthusiastic, they answered me, "Sure! Where?"

"Right here," I informed them. "We'll have breakfast and lunch and lots of games, singing, and fun."

"Can we go swimming?" one of the beautiful little girls asked.

Kids are the same. The need love, attention, and something productive to do no matter where they live, how much their parents earn or what color their skin.

We'll enjoy a great time this summer because we'll spend time with the kids...and just maybe, we'll discover the child still alive in our own hearts. The city will look and feel better for all of us.

If you would like to help, call me! The needs are very, very real.

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