This summer, REACH was able to register 12 kids (ages 3.5 to 13 years old) who have experienced domestic violence to attend summer camp thanks to the support of our funding partners, the Steve Glidden Foundation and Hayley Yaffe, the Director of Family Support and Subsidized Services YMCA of Greater Boston. We are so grateful for the support of our community partners for allowing children from both our shelter and our Community Advocacy Program to experience the joys of summer camp. Camp provides a safe and positive environment where children can develop healthy relationships with peers and it keeps kids engaged, safe, healthy, and learning throughout the summer months.
According to one family, their son was recently exposed to domestic violence and was in need of a safe space to enjoy the summer and socialize with children his age. This family does not normally have the ability to participate in any extracurricular activities, so being able to send their son to camp was an opportunity they never thought they would have. Another family told us that summer camp will allow their two children to break the cycle of abuse and poverty that they are exposed to in their community by learning new skills and meeting peers from other communities that they can learn from. One little girl wanted to learn to swim this summer and camp will give her the means to achieve this goal.
REACH makes arrangements for summer camp as part of our Child and Adolescent Therapy program, which is designed to heal the damage done by domestic violence in families. Using age-appropriate therapeutic play, art, and behavioral therapy, we help children overcome these traumatic experiences, developing a foundation for a healthy emotional life and self-image that will benefit them as they grow up.