This summer Avalon is partnering with Community Leadership Revolution (CLR) on a community-focused youth wellness program, CLR Academy. CLR Academy is the product of a partnership between Association Football Club (AFC) Ann Arbor and Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper (WMBK).
CLR is hosting a total five sites this summer, two of which are hosted weekly at Avalon properties. The CLR Academy engages Avalon K-8 youth through sports activities, reading and writing. The goal of these activities is to introduce them to community, mindfulness and wellness concepts. The program is free for participating Avalon youth and includes snacks, books and sports equipment for participants.
CLR Academy is a drop-in style program where all are welcome. Avalon parents bring younger siblings to watch and play on the playground while their older siblings participate in program activities. Avalon high school-age volunteers also help facilitate activities each week.
At our Avalon sites, we have welcomed two coaches from WMBK who bring many years of experience in community and youth engagement. We have also welcomed a large group of professional soccer players from AFC, who volunteer their time to run these programs. We’ve noticed how much the coaches and volunteers have engaged with the kids from start to finish of the program. They’ve learned everyone’s names, likes and talents, in addition to sharing their knowledge and experience.
Through our partnership with CLR, the kids at Carrot Way and Pauline have built friendships and a sense of community. They’ve built lasting positive relationships with the CLR staff, and each other, through sports, conversation and dance. Every week the kids are out on the playground waiting for their coaches to arrive. The kids drop by our offices during the week to talk about how much fun they have had. They also want to make sure that the program will be happening again the following week! CLR Academy has provided Avalon youth a unique opportunity to get active and support each other.
-Maria Samaniego and Scott Phillips, Avalon Community Building Team