The PHNEE resources committee held the first annual One Park Hill day last week. We brought all of the 3rd graders from Hallett, Park Hill Elementary, Smith and Stedman to the Smiley campus for a day of fun and community building.
Before arriving, all kids received a One Park Hill bracelet in one of eight colors. When they arrived at the Smiley auditorium, they broke into groups by color, with a mix of kids from all over the neighborhood.
After a welcome from PHNEE co-chair and PHCI executive director, James Roy, the kids were treated to a break dance performance from the School of Breaking. Four incredible break dancers performed, and spoke about the importance of working hard at something you care about, being yourself, and always trying your best. Many kids had a chance to get on stage with the dancers and show off some of their own moves.
Park Hill branch librarian, Tara Bannon, told the kids about all of the opportunities at both the Park Hill and Pauline Robinson libraries over the summer, including the Summer of Adventure reading program, and a kids book club. Then, we had breakout sessions with each of the wristband colored groups. Each group of 30 kids spent half an hour with one of the break dancers, learning a routine, and half an hour with Denver Parks and Rec, doing team building activities. Despite the cold weather and varying levels of experience with break dancing, the kids all seemed to have a good time.
We finished with a pizza party in the cafeteria, sponsored by McAulliffe Middle School, before sending the kids back to school.
The kids left with new moves, and new friends, and we are thrilled to have provided an opportunity for them to get to know their neighbors. We are One Park Hill and proud.
Huge thanks to everyone who made this event possible. Susie Seawell and the rest of the PHNEE resources committee, the McAuliffe Staff and Shine Volunteers, James Roy and Park Hill Collective Impact, The School of Breaking, Denver Parks and Rec, and all of the principals, teachers, paras, and kids, who made the day a success. For more pictures, as well as a few videos, click here. If you attended the event and would like to provide feedback, please email us or comment below.