Excursions are opportunities for learning. When you think about the cost of music lessons, sports lessons, and things like cost of membership to local museums, it is easy to understand how children living in poverty miss out on enriching experiences. The benefits of enrichment verses no enrichment are discussed in this article from The New York Times.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and fans, our children at Path To Shine® are building their life experiences by having excursions. Through attending Braves baseball games, visiting an animal shelter, going to the movies, enjoying museum visits, and riding a trolley, our children are receiving the enrichment that children so greatly need.
Below you will find the most common ways our fans and supporters help Path To Shine® fund life enrichment. If you cannot donate to one of the listed options, we encourage you to contact us if you have an idea or a connection for an outing for our children.
Summer break is the traditional time for excursions and opportunities for enrichment. Studies show that the achievement gap widens over summer break for poor children. Summer enrichment helps our children to maintain what they learned during the school year and as a result, our children start a new school year ready to grow. Malcolm Gladwell said it best in his book Outliers: The Story of Success:
Transportation and admissions costs are are a challenge when we provide enrichment excursions.
We have several programs outside Metro Atlanta and excursions often involve driving to a destination. Of course, that means renting a van large enough to transport the children and Mentors is necessary. Our larger programs like Path To Shine - Canton has been known to rent two vans-- that program has 22 children. Oftentimes, we get discounted group rates at museums, zoos, cinemas, and sporting events, and sometimes costs like that really add up.
Each summer Path To Shine® offers Vacation Bible School at many of our locations. We also work with organizations that provide summer lunches and use this opportunity as a time to connect with the children and to invite them into some fun learning. We share theme-based activities and lessons incorporating not only the educational component but also story-time, crafts, and play-time; and we hand out books for the children to take home.