As the school year came to a close and the weather heated up, so did the exciting activities and celebrations across Homes for the Homeless (HFH) sites. HFH Early Childhood Education Centers at Saratoga and Prospect held "Moving Up" ceremonies, where parents and teachers celebrated our youngest learners before they move on to kindergarten. At HFH's K-12 after-school and recreation programming, anticipation built for the beginning of the 2019 HFH Summer (sleep-away) Camps and HFH Day Camps seasons. Meanwhile, HFHers of all ages including parents, children, and staff, enjoyed the chance to get together at Saratoga for Spring Fling, Safety Day, and an Art Show.
Safety Day at Saratoga
Saratoga's third annual Safety Day was a tremendous success. NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill and FDNY Queens Bureau Commander Ed Baggott stopped by to speak with families and staff about the importance of fire safety, security, and community.

Saratoga's Moving Up Ceremony
The end of the school year has been punctuated by Moving Up Ceremonies at HFH's Early Childhood Education Centers. At Saratoga's Moving Up Ceremony, families marked this crucial first educational milestone with several dance numbers before the graduates received their diplomas.

Love A Tree Day at Williamsbridge
Williamsbridge recreation celebrated National 'Love a Tree Day' with a tree-inspired art project. The kids imprinted their paintings with leaves and traced the texture of bark. They followed up the project with a jeapardy-style trivia game.

Salsa at Early Childhood Ed Centers
Kids at Prospect and Saratoga's Early Childhood Education Centers took their first steps into salsa dancing with a month-long series of workshops, adapting the dance steps for the young learners.

Carnival Day at HFH Summer Camps
The first of three sessions of HFH Summer Camps 2019 began on June 28. Carnival Day was a special success, bringing together campers and staff from Camps Lanowa and Wakonda for a day of ice cream, tie-dye, and more.

The kids at Prospect afterschool have been busy with innovative partnership-driven activities. The last three months have boasted science lessons from PBS Kids , dance lessons from DMF Youth , and drama-based workshops from CUNY CAT .
Make-Your-Own-Slime Activity from PBS Kids
Stretching before dance class with DMF Youth
Expressing emotions through movements with CUNY CAT.
Families had plenty of entertainment to choose from at Saratoga's annual Spring Fling , a celebration of community, family, and springtime. Families got together again for an Art Show featuring artwork from both parents and kids, two musical performances, and several short plays.
Spotlight On: Desiree Sanabria
Our Spotlight On: series highlights HFH staff members. June's spotlight featured Payroll Manager Desiree Sanabria, who has been working at HFH for 26 years and counting.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jr. Volunteers at Saratoga
Inspired by the youth volunteering non-profit Touching Heart , two junior volunteers, Maya and Marissa, both 9, organized a basketball fundraiser to benefit Saratoga Early Childhood Education Center and HFH Summer Camps. They then volunteered to read a storybook and lead a gardening activity with younger kids at Saratoga Early Childhood Education Center. Way to go, Maya and Marissa!

Volunteer Spotlight: St. John's University
Over the course of several weeks, students from St. John's University volunteered their time to paint a brightly-colored mural at Saratoga. The students also organized a food drive to benefit HFH family residences.

As always, our work wouldn't be possible without the staff, partners, volunteers, and supporters who ensure that Homes for the Homeless can continue to provide support for over 700 children and their families each year.
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