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8/10/23 blog post

students soar to success with Dayton Children’s summer program

children participating in the Kiser summer program

What did you do this summer?  

For children who were a part of Dayton Children’s summer program, Panther’s Taking F.L.I.G.H.T, the summer was full of enrichment, awareness and learning! For the second year this program was back at Kiser PreK-6 School to continue the important work of the Neighborhood School Centers program. 

Students take flight and soar to success 

F.L.I.G.H.T. stands for future leaders innovating and growing healthier together. And that is what the program coordinators are aiming for when they put together programming for the students. For 6 weeks, about 45 students focused on academics, physical fitness and learned important lessons like bike safety, healthy cooking and the importance of social awareness. 

“This summer program helped children both academically and socially by providing an environment that was not only educational but fun as well,” shared Da'Neicia Smith, school site coordinator and program leader.  

For most of the students every experience on this day was a new one. This is a key component of the Center’s work, to create educational opportunities that make learning fun. As a social determinant of health, education is key to helping children achieve optimal health.  

Better together: working as a team to support students 

This summer, program staff, lead teachers and enrichment specialists worked with experts from YMCA of Greater Dayton, Dayton Public Schools, and Dayton Children’s Hospital partnered together as a team along with student’s families to address the behavioral, academic and health needs of the children who participated.  

Students are supported through the program in more than just their learning, but also in their behavioral and mental wellness needs. Program leaders incorporated the BellXcel enrichment explorers curriculum as well as resources from On Our Sleeves at Dayton Children’s to address mental and emotional health. Some students were able to see complete transformations as a result of being part of the program.  

“We had one student who had a rough time throughout the school year with many behavioral concerns,” shares Da'Neicia. “But by the end of the program, he was able to communicate his feelings and emotions and became a sweet, helpful and respectful student.” 

Dayton Children’s commitment to children in our community  

With Kiser less than a mile away from Dayton Children’s main campus, the selection of Dayton Children’s as the school’s not-for-profit partner is an incredible opportunity to make a sustained difference in the lives of our neighborhood’s children. 

“To me, the work being done at the hospital and at the school go hand in hand,” says Da'Neicia. “The students and families we serve need the same care and support as the children and families being seen in the hospital. The work we do at the school creates a space that focuses on the direct care of those students that may struggle with confidence, social awareness, social anxiety, and self-regulation which plays a huge role in academic success!” 

We can’t wait for the work to continue in the school year.  Stay tuned for more about the Neighborhood School Center collaboration that will continue its ongoing support of children in our region to give them better, healthier outcomes.  

More about Neighborhood Schools 

As a non-profit Neighborhood School partner with Kiser Elementary, Dayton Children’s Center for Health Equity is funded to implement afterschool and summer programming at Kiser through the national Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program administered at the state level by Ohio Department of Education and held locally by Dayton Public Schools. 

To learn more about school programs supported by the Center for Health Equity, click here.  

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To learn more about supporting the 384,000 kids who depend on Dayton Children's every year, please contact our Foundation office at 937-641-3405 or by email.

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