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Summer Success Picnic Features Food, Learning, Fun for Portland Kids

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Summer Success Picnic Features Food, Learning, Fun for Portland Kids
Posted on 07/06/2015
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Portland youngsters and their parents are invited to a Summer Success Picnic in Deering Oaks Park on Thursday, July 9. The 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. free event will include food and lots of fun activities that promote learning.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk will be on hand to offer remarks and lead children in the Portland Pledge for Summer Success at 12 p.m., followed by a special performance by the Circus Conservatory of America at 12:30 p.m.

The picnic event is part of Portland’s new Feeding Bodies & Minds collaborative project and celebrates the power of combining summer meals and summer learning for kids.

In addition to the Circus Conservatory of America, special guests at the picnic include the University of Maine 4-H Summer of Science Team, Slugger the Sea Dog, the Portland Public Library Bookmobile, the Portland Fire Department, Girl Scouts, PNC Peacemakers, the YMCA and others.

The picnic is just one feature of the comprehensive Portland summer meals program, which provides free lunches to kids and teens age 18 and younger at 18 neighborhood sites across the city. Almost every summer meal site will offer summer learning opportunities—such as science experiments, reading, games, and crafts—almost every day this summer.

Feeding Bodies & Minds is a collaborative initiative of the Portland Public Schools; Healthy Portland (a local Healthy Maine Partnership based out of the city of Portland’s Public Health Division); Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative; 211 Maine; the USDA Summer Food ServiceProgram; and a number of Portland ConnectED partners, including The Opportunity Alliance.

Portland ConnectED is a cross-sector partnership working to improve educational and economic outcomes for Portland children, families and students from cradle to career.

This year, Portland’s summer meals program is also supported through grants received by Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative and the city of Portland from Cities Combating Hunger through Afterschool & Summer Meals Programs (CHAMPS), an initiative of the National League of Cities and the Food Research and Action Committee. The primary goal of this effort is to reduce childhood hunger in Portland by expanding access to and participation in the USDA At-Risk Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs.

For more information about summer meals and summer learning, visit www.portlandschools.org and click on the “Portland Summer Success: Feeding Bodies & Minds” button at the bottom of the home page or click here.