Foremost, we'd like to extend a sincere thank-you to everyone who donated to our project. Because of your generosity, we reached our goal of $7,000, and can launch our scholarship program for those students from our current outreach who wish to further their parkour education at our gym!
As it is, we visit two centers each week; Monday sees an hour at Youth Care's Orion Center in Downtown Seattle, and Tuesday is Spruce Street SCRC in the Central District. Fridays, as of today February 5th, will be sessions in club-format for students at Cleveland High School in South Seattle. All of these are volunteer-led, free sessions, and students from each are eligible for the scholarships to our six-week program.
While each of these facilities differ in mission, all cater to youth who are either homeless, in dangerous or at-risk positions, or are in the lowest income bracket. It has been a wonderful journey working with these kids, seeing them get excited about movement and exercising their bodies, and having fun with their environment. There's nothing like hearing, "I'm so glad you guys are here," and, "I couldn't wait for it to be Monday again!" to keep us motivated to continue reaching out to youth who may otherwise not get the opportunity to play, and work with the same great students to harness their physical abilities and learn confidence while positively interacting in groups. One of the most exciting pieces is having those who return to the Orion Center each week specifically to work with us, one saying often, "It's so great to feel like I can have control."
Without the support of our community of volunteers and donors, none of these projects could be possible. Thank you again for your interest and we look forward to seeing a still-growing and strong community of youths practicing parkour to lead the way for others throughout 2010.
Thanks to all of our amazing supporters we ran our first major clinic with New Futures last week and the kids loved it! We ran about 15 kids through a warmup, demonstration, and some games before breaking them up into groups to work through some pre-built routes and challenges at Gasworks Park.
"Tonight was a blast! Not only did our kids enjoy learning the practice of Parkour, but I think the entire experience was inspiring for them. Just being exposed to something so new, meeting cool instructors and shifting their thinking about conventional exercise is huge for them. Thanks so much for pulling that together for us, and all your staff that were able to help out." -Katie from New Futures
We paid close attention to those traditionally left out from normal sports to watch their reactions to our challenges. Many were rather shy and reticent to try new things in front of their peers but I noticed in my group those same kids were some of the most enthusiastic about trying again after making it through the course without touching the lava the first time, even if they were slower or had to use different techniques than the rest of their friends.
In the next few weeks we'll be learning more about future classes with New Futures, starting up with the Lincoln Center, and working with a potential fourth partner in a program through Parks and Rec!
It's a busy time for us in the middle of a name change, looking for our own gym, and training new volunteers but we feel we're approaching the tipping point and will continue pushing forward on our end. Thanks again for all of your support!
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