Dancin’ the summer away

Summer Kick Off Festival debuts in Rainier Vista


 

By Jonathan Luong

Special to The Voice

The Rainier Vista Youth Organizations Collaborative held its first Summer Kick Off Festival on Friday, June 3 at the Boys and Girls Club Field with the goal of equipping local youths with resources needed to have a safe summer.

Participating agencies included Refugee Women’s Alliance, Horn of Africa Services, the Boys and Girls Club, and Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). The 250 youth attendees received safety resources from a total of 20 participating organizations, said Jen Calleja, one of the event’s creators and a community builder with SHA.

A dozen youths ages 7 to 18 participated in the planning process of the Festival and essentially took charge of the stage and entertainment and made sure things went off without a hitch.

“It was a very rewarding experience for me,” said 17-year-old Asif, who was one of the youth organizers. “To be able to serve my community was important to me, and to have fun while doing it just made it better.”

Young men and women danced to their heart’s content during the World Mind Creation Academy’s dance competition held June 3 in Rainier Vista. A similar event for youths will be held at Rainier Vista Central Park on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 4:30 until 6 p.m. to celebrate back to school.

Young men and women danced to their heart’s content during the World Mind Creation Academy’s dance competition held June 3 in Rainier Vista. A similar event for youths will be held at Rainier Vista Central Park on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 4:30 until 6 p.m. to celebrate back to school.

“The young people who planned the event were the ones who really helped lead the process,” said Calleja. “It was very organic. They showed us what they wanted and we worked with them to make it happen.”

Many participating organizations used the Festival to generate awareness about their respective summer events and programming, like the Columbia City Library, which highlighted its annual Summer Reading Program for Children.

A dance game and competition hosted by the World Mind Creation Academy drew a large crowd of enthusiastic contestants. Yasmin Habib, the founder of the Academy, says the event encouraged self-expression and healing through dance and music.

“We also wanted the kids to develop collaborative and communications skills and teach them about proper nutrition through a hands-on meal demonstration that they took part in,” Habib added.

Leave a Comment