Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kids and Their Buddies Spend a Meaningful Day

Two of the girls enjoyed shelling on the beach. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

Two of the girls enjoyed shelling on the beach. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

On Tuesday, February 9, 114 second-graders from the Guadelupe After School Program (GAP) in Immokalee (Pinecrest and Highlands Elementary Schools) were welcomed by Big Buddies at the 18th Annual Hideaway Beach Buddy Day, for an excursion filled with fun and learning.

The kids paired up with adult buddies from Hideaway Beach, Fiddler’s Creek, Verona Walk, Eagle Creek, The League Club, and the Tutor Corps of high school students from Immokalee

The children enjoyed arts and crafts. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

The children enjoyed arts and crafts. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

who work with these children.

Rotating from station to station, the kids experienced arts and crafts and beach programs presented by Big Cypress National Preserve, Rookery Bay, and Friends of Tigertail.  Seining is always a popular activity as the kids crowd around to see the live wriggling critters pulled from the sea. Although we may find it hard to believe,  many of them have never spent a day at the

Tom Lally and his little buddy enjoy snack time.  (Photo by Pat Koziar)

Tom Lally and his little buddy enjoy snack time. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

beach and are fascinated by shells and remnants of sea life.

With the help of the buddies and binoculars, the children began to look at wildlife differently, especially during the birdwatching program when they compared the span of their own arms with those of birds’ wingspans.

In the picnic area, more buddies prepared and served snacks, always welcome by active kids.

After expressing their thanks in song and with a large hand-painted

Manners are important: a handpainted Gracias from the children to their big buddies. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

Manners are important: a handpainted Gracias from the children to their big buddies. (Photo by Pat Koziar)

poster, at the end of the day, tired Little Buddies with painted tattoos, gifts of stuffed animals from Kids 2 Camp, and many memories headed home.

Buddy Day is but a small part of the contribution these many volunteers make, to support Immokalee’s Guadalupe Center. Their financial contributions maintain a tutoring program that not only assists this Kindergarten to Grade 2 group with their studies, but also enables the tutors themselves to further their education.

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