April 05, 2022

Lifechanging Journeys Begin with Fresh Air

What can happen in just one day at The Fresh Air Fund? Children have music workshops in Brooklyn and play soccer at Jackson Heights, families try archery at Family Wellness, students ride a ferry to Governors Island and create an art installation. And countless journeys of lifelong discovery are launched. 

Sparking Creativity in Sunset Park, Brooklyn 

David says his favorite part of summer includes a day outside with the grass and blue skies with his family!

Each morning, David look forward his morning walk with brother Jesus and their grandmother to Fresh Air Summer Spaces. As they get closer to the check-in desk, David can see the hula-hoops, soccer balls and jump ropes – he knows it’s going to be a great day! 

The first activity? Drawing his very own Portrait of Summer. As they paint, the children answer the question: What’s your favorite part of summer? 

Powering Healthy Play with Fresh Air Fun

Hula hoops are a favorite activity at Summer Spaces! Last summer, 92% of children said their experience at Summer Spaces made them feel healthier and more active and 88% of caregivers said their child became more open to trying new things! 

After art, the counselors get the kids ready for some fun games! From hula-hoop contests to jumping rope and obstacle courses, kids are staying active through guided and safe supervised play. 

David said, “I like coming here because I make new friends and play. I also like that my brother gets to play with me here!” 

Inspiring Personal Growth with Hands-On Learning 

Fresh Air teens work on their incredibly precise topographic models, matching buildings, sanding, wood-gluing, and adding layer after layer as Governor’s Island came to life. 
Campers and counselors later walked around the actual locations they recreated, observing details of the landscape. Ultimately, the groups and their model sections of Governors Island will come together to create one large model. 

When Fresh Air teens in the Summer Teen Academy Design Studio Program, in partnership with PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, were asked about experiences they will always remember from the summer, students described welding with blowtorches and masks, creating ceramic molds to create porcelain bells and building a precise topographic model of Governors Island. 

When asked about how the program inspired them, teens described new aspirations of becoming engineers and artists—with an enthusiastic welder as well. 

“A regular day on Governors Island is more hands on than a school day with assignments. I think I learn better this way, doing this kind of work. I’m not sure what I want to do, but I think sketching helps me. I could see myself being an artist or architect maybe,” 15-year-old Ryan said. 

Launching Adventures in the Great Outdoors 

Meet the Cheung family from Brooklyn. After arriving for their first day at  Fresh Air Family Wellness, the Cheung’s were rejuvenated and ready for Day 2!

The Cheung’s started the day with breakfast at 8 am and then they excitedly went to their first scheduled activity for the day. With so many choices—from  swimming in the pool, hiking and fishing to visiting the model farm—the  Cheung family chose an adventurous day with archery and boating! 

Families participate in activities that offer opportunities to connect in the outdoors. Rowing a boat together on the lake can be a serene and calming moment for families. 
Family Wellness is right on target! The Cheung family were able to learn a new skill and create lifelong memories during their archery lesson. 

At the end of the day, and all summer long, The Fresh Air Fund provides opportunities for learning, growth and fun for NYC kids and families! To help launch more lifechanging journeys, please consider making a gift today.