By Kelly Suter and Dwight Weingarten

The Parkside Community Block Party was a great success for the Neval Thomas and Cesar Chavez City Year teams!  There were nearly 200 people in attendance, including students and their families.  It was such a joy to see them having fun together playing games, learning about community organizations, and eating delicious food prepared by the City Year teams.  

The games at the block party kept our students engaged in their education. Some students played ELA and math games while others played college-related games.  Family members traveled around to the different stations and faced off in college logo matching, human Sudoku, math-basketball, Catch Phrase, and many more games!  The students – and even City Year Washington, DC Executive Director Jeff Franco – also got active on an obstacle course outside in what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny Saturday.     

In addition to the educational games, City Year also provided some pampering to our scholars after all their hard work! Manicures were provided for girls and free haircuts were given to boys! 

Many organizations from the area including DC Central Kitchen and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens attended to give our families information about their services to the D.C. community. The D.C. Public Library also gave out resources and free books to our attendees.  

Some may argue that the most exciting portion of the event was the end: a dance-off party, followed by the highly-awaited reward of the winners getting to pie their City Year!  Students organized themselves into groups and did their dance routines on stage, demonstrating that the Parkside community sure has a lot of great talent outside the classroom! 

The audience’s applause determined the winners and the winners were ecstatic for their prize.  Not so sure the City Years who were pied would say the same, but they sure demonstrated the positive can-do attitude and dedication to their students that made the entire event a community success!

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