It’s a youth initiative that gives kids from ages seven to fourteen chances to explore Savannah.Year marks 24 years the summer bonanza has worked as a youth initiative to help kids have things to do in the month of June and this year they say it sets itself apart.
“When you see kids 7 years old to 12 years old making a difference doing projects and community service, helping out others helping out others their age, five time their age giving them advice you know coming and helping them out it’s so amazing when you see things like that,” says former Bonanza participant Mohammad Abdallah.
It’s those kinds of experiences organizers say kids get when they take part in Savannah Bonanza.
The two decade old program hosts what they call “wellness trips,” to places like the Forsyth farmers market and Chatham county jail.
And this year they want to get parents involved.
“Every child has something, or every parent has something that they need assistance with and so that’s where we come in,” says program founder Priscilla Thomas.
for the first time the initiative is partnering with parent university to also let parents check in on their kids during the program but will also help volunteers connect with them throughout the year.
“How they are doing in school, we constantly check on their families to find out how the families are doing and if there is anything that we need to assist them with we try to make an impact on their lives all through the school year also,” says volunteer Mary Wilson Thomas.
Former members like Mohammad Abdallah say the mentoring he got from the program made a big impression on him at a young age.
“I didn’t really get to go out that much, and Dr. Thomas explored me around the neighborhood, showed me different things, I was like wow there’s more you know there’s more during the summer than just sitting there,” Abdallah says.
He not only hopes these newcomers share the lessons he took from the program but also the parents take something with them as well.
The programs first actual weekend of events will take place next weekend June 13th with a fitness day in Forsyth park.
You can get more information on the program by contacting Chatham county commissioner Priscilla Thomas or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.