PATERSON – With a mission to cultivate achievement and map out possibilities for the children and families of Paterson, C.A.M.P. YDP is pressing on with momentum, partnerships, and support. Extending reach and deepening roots in the city, the organization hosted a fundraising banquet at their headquarters on Dec. 9 with nearly 70 attendees, raising more than $7,000.
Working in partnerships with parents, administrators, and community members, the refreshed organization provides a safe-haven for children and their families to grow, learn and become empowered academically, socially and emotionally.
At the event, the board honored two long serving volunteers who passed away, and their families accepted awards on their behalf.
“The families were very moved by the gesture and spoke about how much C.A.M.P. YDP had meant to the volunteers,” said Andrea Wren-Hardin, Hope Center Manager for A Future With Hope.
“Through our full-day preschool, afterschool enrichment and summer programs, we encourage children to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers and productive members of society,” said Bria Pierre, Director, who gave tours of the facility and spoke about various programs. Two members of the Paterson Council were in attendance as well as two persons interested in joining the board.
“Many provided feedback that they really liked that the event took place at Camp rather than another venue,” said Wren-Hardin, who joined Pierre on the facility tour.
Affording children the opportunity to explore through play and gain knowledge about themselves and the world, C.A.M.P. YDP’s vibrant teachers look for new ways to engage students in authentic hands-on experience.
“The idea is to spark interest and allow for further exploration” said Pierre.
In a city plagued by drugs and violence, the block of time immediately following school before parents are finished with their work days presents opportunity for mischief or unsupervised kids. Camp’s after school enrichment program gives children a place to work on homework, enjoy a hot meal, and participate in recreational activities while giving their parents a sense of security.
“One of the great things about Camp is when school is out, Camp is in!” exclaimed Pierre. “This not only goes for the school year but also during the summer. It’s a time where we focus on providing children access to new experiences and learning opportunities.”
During the summer months, Camp receives a wide-range of children from various parts of Paterson. With the city’s survival and future dependent on its next generation of leaders, Camp believes those leaders are in their building. According to Pierre, the staff and volunteers work with passion to help the students who come through their doors reach their fullest potential.
“Paterson is a great city with even greater potential,” she said. “We’re always looking for people, organizations, groups, churches, businesses and corporations to partner with to help push our mission forward and provide a collective impact on the community.”
Along with financial support, C.A.M.P. YDP seeks dedicated volunteers to teach enrichment classes, help with homework, and share knowledge by investing time and talents in the city’s youth.
“We’re really looking for people passionate about shaping the lives of children to join our board and become advocates and stewards of our noble mission,” said Pierre.
“We need more to do more,” she continued. “Today we invite you to come and be that more to us.”