There was no stopping Summer Fun at the Berrie Center. The dynamic duo of art therapist Cara Lampron and pediatric coordinator Kindra Matthews worked their magic once again to make a week on Zoom feel like everyone was together in the same room.
During the week of July 12, Cara, Kindra and four CITs led a group of 11 children through virtual games, art projects, journaling, improv, music and more. The group talked about life with diabetes, and the ups-and-downs that come along with the diagnosis.
“We had an amazing, successful, fun virtual week,” said Kindra Matthews. “I can’t wait to get back to in-person.”
Summer Fun is a long-standing tradition at the Berrie Center. It is a week (typically in-person) designed to help pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) gain confidence, learn important skills, bond with others and benefit from the constant attention and support of a community of diabetes role models. The past two years have been virtual; however everyone hopes to reconnect in person next year.
“It almost felt like it was not virtual,” said Cara Lampron. “We had such engagement and so much fun. It went by too fast. I am looking forward to next year hopefully in person, but I think we had such a great group that it didn’t even feel like we were on our computers all week.”
While the program is for children with T1D, diabetes is just one small piece of who these individuals are. For that reason, Cara and Kindra organize a yearly talent show at the conclusion of the week. This year’s virtual talent show was as impactful as ever. There was a piano player, a drummer, a singer, a fisherman and incredible works of art on display.
“We want to showcase other parts of them through this talent show,” said Cara. “It has been a great tradition, and they work hard all week to practice their talents and come up with something. We appreciate all of their hard work!”
To keep the kids connected even after the program concluded, Cara introduced a pen pal program.
Cara and Kindra said the program was successful in large part to “an amazing group of CITs” who needed little direction and added great energy. Thank you to Morgan Panzirer, Olivia Bell, Anabel Panero and Jack Zeidel.
The Summer Fun Program is possible through generous donations from our supporters. To support the Berrie Center Summer Fun Program please contact Melissa DeCesare, Director of Development, at 212.305.4379.