By Saadia Athias, CAC Community Safety Partner
Over the course of the summer, the First District Citizens Advisory Council, community members, and MPD worked together to bring “Drop in for Safety” events to our community youth, giving them the opportunity to participate in plenty of fun, healthy, and educational activities.
The outdoor activities were held on Wednesdays and developed for the youth between the ages of 5-17 years old. The arts/crafts, bike riding, community arts project, and exercising for safety allowed us to spend quality time with the youngsters. The partnership also helped build stronger relationships between MPD and community youth, and established rewarding relationships.
We sought fun and safe activities for youth in the community, while social distancing – now more important than ever before. We were helpful in providing an opportunity for children to do some activities they enjoyed, and created a constructive atmosphere that helped them cope with challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas we lost the use of recreation centers and official summer programs, we assisted the community in discovering alternative summer fun, especially the youth, with these wellness programs.
These opportunities kept them eagerly waiting for the next “Drop in” event!
A special thank you to our community First District Outreach Coordinator Fayette Vaughn-Lee; our partners at Good Project; and Autumn and Darius, who rode bikes, made craft projects, painted in the streets, and made sure the children arrived at the program safely, and made it home. Also, a special thanks to Christine Spencer, Residential Council President at James Creek, and Coach Green at Greenleaf Recreation Center, both of whom provided additional refreshments for the participants. And kudos to the 1D CAC Chair, Robert Pittman, who made sure there were plenty of crafts supplies for the events. Lastly, a special thanks to 1D Commander Kane, our MPD officers, and cadet members who all assisted in making the programs successful, and utterly enjoyed themselves as much as the youngsters.