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UNITED VOICE: Community Event Aims To Teach Kids Skills To Succeed

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

An upcoming community event in the Capitol View neighborhood of Oklahoma City aims to inspire kids to learn something new heading into the summer months.

Next weekend’s Let's Live and Play festival at NE 36th Street and Kelley Avenue will bring together experts in a variety of fields.

Organizers with C.A.R.E. For Change, Inc. and Capitol View Neighborhood Association want to teach minority kids skills to succeed that they normally would not be able to access.

From lessons in chess to financial literacy to skateboarding, experts are banding together to pass on valuable extracurricular knowledge for free. Math teacher and independent writer Bashawn Moore explains “the whole concept of lifting as you climb. If I didn’t have it but I understand it now, I definitely need to teach it to my kids so that they can have a better advantage than I did.”

One of the goals is to get neighborhood kids active this summer with inexpensive classics like Double Dutch. Head organizer Jennifer Annette says, “You learn a lot in outdoor play. A lot of brain cells are stimulated, so when you don’t have anything to do, you opt for things that will take you down the wrong path.”

The event is also encouraging creativity through art and a book writing class.

“It becomes therapy for them,” says one of the workshop leaders, English teacher Anthony Crawford. “It allows them to express themselves in a manner in which they probably don’t know that they’re doing.”

The goal is to make the area a better place for the next generation.

“Kids need a safe haven, a safe place to go where they can be themselves, play like they should,” says Let's Live and Play assistant lead coordinator Nielah Blaylock.

Many of the skills will come in handy later in life, like critical thinking in chess. Chess master and workshop instructor Elijah Malachi X Mothershed Bey says players can “decide quickly and effectively what’s going to be the most effective decision within seconds to help themselves.”

This knowledge will be available along with other topics many of us wish we had learned sooner in life, like managing money. Moore, who is helping teach the book writing workshop, recalls life as a teenager, saying, “That first check is like, oh I’m going to go buy some sneakers or something, but if I learned to be financially sound, how to be fiscally responsible, I’m like okay, maybe I should save some money.”

The festival is happening on Saturday, June 2 from noon to 6 p.m. at Northeast 36th Street and Kelley Avenue. Activities will be happening at multiple locations near the intersection. For a full itinerary of events, see below:

If you cannot make it to the Let’s Live and Play festival, you can still connect with the organizations hosting the classes by clicking the links below.

C.A.R.E. For Change

Capitol View Neighborhood Association

MAN 101 (Chess and Male Mentoring)

F.L.Y With Tatyana (Double Dutch club)

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