I met Tammy and ATX Kids Club in 2015. I connected with her mission right away, because just as many kids in Austin, I had lived in this city for many years but was barely aware of all that I was missing.
At our first meeting she told me, “Every kid should be able to know and enjoy their city.” That first summer that I worked as a camp counselor (aka Field Trip Leader) made it clear that she was right. Kids became more aware, they were able to identify places and bus routes. Many of our campers had experienced field trips through school, but the fact that we had to walk to bus stops and create our own routes to get to places made them more interested in the destinations. Trekking through the city in the middle of Texan summer is no easy task, but as I saw my stamina increase, so did the kids. Each day, we became stronger. I was particularly amazed by a then 4 year old, Lily, who struggled through her first day, convinced that she couldn’t walk anymore, and within days became one of our most fearless explorers, encouraging others along the way. She is still joining our adventures today (3 years later) and loves it.
Our schedule of adventures has been evolving each year with great input from our campers & families. Our summer theme weeks help kids associate different places and how they connect together. They also help them focus on a specific topic they find interesting. I personally love diversity week, which focus on minorities. We visit the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Mexican American Cultural Center, African American Heritage Center, Community First! Village (for the homeless), and many others. Kids immediately start looking at their city with other people’s needs in mind.
As someone that has lived in North Austin, I felt detached from the rest of the city. When I first moved here almost 5 years ago, it took me 2 buses and an hour and 40 minutes to get downtown. I missed many events and places my first two years. Through ATX Kids Club, I was able to learn how to use the bus system and through its improvements I have become more acquainted with the city. Taking bus 803 has now allowed me to cut my commute time by 1 hour! ATX Kids Club couldn’t do what they do without CapMetro and their continued improvements each year.
Now that I live even further away from the city, I wish ATX Kids Club could expand to every single park in Austin. Buses definitely connect us with the city, but it is programs like this that encourage people to get outside and take advantage of what is so wonderful about Austin: its people and its culture.
We are one month away for our Annual Adventure cruise fundraiser! Once again Capital Cruises will take us on an amazing trip around Lady Bird Lake. We will enjoy the view of our amazing city while we support what we love most, the ATX Kids Club mission. Tickets are on sale now! Don’t miss the opportunity to help us reach more children. Everyone should be able to enjoy their city! This is why I invite you to join us on this year’s Annual Adventure Cruise Fundraiser. Hear more about this amazing program and help us grow it!