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Bridge Builders’ Summer of Fun!

Summer is halfway through, and Bridge Builders are continuing their fun activities for the final month before school starts! This summer, in addition to new skills classes, the kids have also been able to spend some time at PNC Park.

Getting Creative

With a new meeting space in Crafton Heights, Bridge Builders has added fun new classes this summer for kids to get creative and learn new skills. In addition to the usual outdoor Fun Fridays, they’re also holding coding lessons, guitar lessons, yoga, virtual storytelling/writing, art club, and reading support.

The guitar lessons are held three times a week and led by local guitar players who volunteer their time to teach the kids. One of the guitar players, Austin, was able to get varying sizes of practice guitars for the kids to learn on. They helped them learn how to hold their guitar, how to use a pick, and how to pluck the strings.

The art sessions also get creative, with projects like painting with dish soap and other creative methods. These sessions are also led by volunteers who help the kids with techniques and learning how to make art. Some of the kids take their artwork home while others leave it to be displayed in the Bridge Builders space. The space has other fun features like a collection of games, bookshelves filled with books, and even a puppet show place so that the Bridge Builders kids can have fun and be creative while they’re there.

Getting Active

On Fridays, the outdoor fun activities are still happening, with snacks for the neighborhood kids, pickup soccer, and activities like a scavenger hunt. Kids from around the neighborhood will gather in the Crafton Heights playground to play with each other, learn fun lessons, and spend time doing activities outside. This past week, kids did a scavenger hunt in teams where they had to find all the objects on the list within the playground space!

The Bridge Builders also got to take a special trip to PNC Park to get a tour of the stadium and learn about baseball. They learned how baseball is played, saw the practice rooms, stood on the field, and sat in the dugout, and learned about some famous baseball players in Pirates history. And soon, they will get to go see two Pirates games!

Get Involved

Have you ever wanted to create meaningful change for kids from refugee and immigrant backgrounds? Are you a creative person who loves to think outside of the box? We’re always looking for ways to get more people involved with our mission of helping refugees settle into their new homes in the US.

So if you or someone you know is looking for a fun, high-energy volunteer opportunity this summer—we’ve got it! We’re in immediate need of volunteers for our summer youth programs for resettled refugees in Crafton Heights–like Bridge Builders. Our programs range from visual arts, computer programming, English writing and reading support, to outdoor field games and more! All scheduled on weekday afternoons/early evenings with awesome kids. Volunteer for as little as 1 hr/week. We can sign off on service hours for students, too! Email Joy Givens at jgivens@jfcspgh.org if you are interested or sign up today at jfcspgh.org/volunteer!