Fri., Aug. 14 marked the end of the seven-week summer enrichment program named Dulce Esperanza (Sweet Hope), a program of the Warwick Area Migrant Committee. This program provided enrichment activities for up to eighty-five children from farmworker families this summer. Most of the parents work in black dirt farms and packing houses.
Four thousand meals and snacks were delivered to the homes of enrolled children living in Florida, Goshen, Warwick, Pine Island, Minisink and Chester.
A grant from Cornell Cooperative Extension added two bags of vegetables to the meals for each family. This will continue through the 2020 growing season.
Support from the Warwick Valley Central School District continues to be a vital support of this program.
Dulce Esperanza normally operates in the Pine Island School, but COVID-19 forced the change to remote activities. The summer poses an especially big challenge for farmworker families as they must work long hours and faced additional challenges due to the lack of childcare.
Volunteers added a special treat on Thursdays as children from each family were scheduled to participate in a morning of fun at the Pine Island School. Mary Berrigan has been working with the students for several years and has created a garden oasis at the School. There are now sixteen perennial plants with a milkweed garden to attract butterflies. Donations from the Warwick Garden Club helped to cover the cost of supplies.
Pat Quinn, a local artist and art therapist, provided art classes, including collage and painting. Claire Gabelman, a long-standing volunteer of the program, ended the morning with a special cooking lesson, and children were able to make food and eat on site.
Many things have changed due to COVID-19, but the children in the Dulce Esperanza program stayed connected through the work of WAMC and our community supporters. This support was very much appreciated by the parents and children. The Summer Program is entirely dependent upon donations and the help of many volunteers.
Follow WAMC on Instagram, their website, www.wafarmworkers.org, or like them on Facebook.
Dulce Esperanza provided enrichment activities for up to eighty-five children from farmworker families this summer.