Based on the success of our Mission Thrive Summer program for Baltimore City teens, Brandin Bowden, senior community programs manager at the Institute, was invited to lead a workshop at last month’s annual conference of the National Summer Learning Association in San Antonio, Texas.
Using Mission Thrive Summer as a case study, the session explored why and how to develop a summer program focused on integrative health. Bowden’s presentation and group exercises highlighted strategies for establishing community collaborations, such as those the Institute formed with Real Food Farm and Baltimore City’s YouthWorks.
“Partnerships have been instrumental to this unique and highly effective summer program,” said Bowden. “Leveraging combined resources and expertise, we’ve developed a proven model we’re now sharing with like-minded organizations.”
Participants in the conference workshop gained an understanding of integrative health and the purpose of integrative health programming by using a tool called the wellness wheel to identify strengths and gaps in their personal health habits.
“It was great to hear from some participants that it was their favorite session of the conference,” said Bowden.
The National Summer Learning Association’s work is driven by the belief that all children and youth deserve high-quality summer learning experiences that will help them succeed in college, career and life. Attended by more than 600 people this year, the Summer Changes Everything National Conference sought to elevate participants’ knowledge, skills and expertise by providing resources to develop and sustain quality summer programs.