Looking Ahead to Summer at Marillac St. Vincent
Connecting Communities | June 2021
Marillac St. Vincent is gearing up for a great summer filled with special events, activities, and projects across all programs. With the warmer weather, falling COVID-19 cases, and increased vaccination rates, we will be able to adapt programming to accomodate clients and volunteers. Read on to find out what is in store for all Marillac St. Vincent programs.
School Age Programs
The school age classroom staff at the centers will soon share their summer calendar with families. Plans are still being finalized, but until a COVID vaccine gets approved for children under the age of twelve, classrooms will be sticking with outdoor enrichment activities.
“We are prioritizing activities with S.T.E.A.M. [science, technology, engineering, art, and math] objectives including building robotics, art-making, and math games,” stated Youth Services Director, Albert Richardson. Albert added that his team of teachers are motivated to keep the children excited and engaged throughout the summer, “we’ll be doing ‘Fun Friday’ block parties outside the centers with games, snacks, and outdoor movies on the big screen with our projectors.”
Following last summer’s successful community garden activities, MSV’s neighborhood youth program, Hope Junior, plans to center their days in and around the garden again in 2021. Children and teens will have the chance to plant and grow vegetables, perform music and spoken word poetry from the platform stage built last year, and grill out with the help of Chef Michael Pfeiffer of Drumlin Supper Club. Program Director, Deanna Hallagan, shared, “we want to paint more murals with guest artist, Isissia Drake, plant trees, and partner with Bandwith Chicago to perform and record music,” adding that, “the kids love getting every opportunity to express themselves.”
Under Hope Junior, MSV will be welcoming 78 teens into paid positions through Chicagoability and After School Matters. Last year, the cohort of 30 Chicagoability participants focused their activism project on getting out the vote in their community, creating dozens of TikTok videos and other content to educate their friends and family. Deanna says this year, the group’s main objective will be vaccine education. "As with every community, there is still a lot of hesitation about the vaccine, and I think the kids can play a huge role in dispelling misinformation and generating interest around getting vaccinated."
For Project Hope, MSV’s program for pregnant and parenting young women and girls, the summers are usually filled with indoor celebrations, outings to Millennium Park, and other group activities. But our staff of Doulas and Parent Educators are sticking with virtual in 2021. All pre-natal and parent group meetings and ongoing one-on-one sessions with staff will continue to be virtual and by phone only.
Senior Services are planning to host their first in-person event since February 2020 this summer. The event is set to take place at Marillac Social Center in East Garfield Park and will take all safety precautions to ensure the well-being of our seniors.
Summer programming for seniors will not include field trips as there is still risk being in public in large groups. Senior Services Manager, Hilary Waldron, explained, “The group needs to reconnect with each other before we start going other places.” Additionally, the varied comfort levels of Take Charge participants are being taken into consideration and at this time, many are still not comfortable with offsite gatherings.