Come for the food, stay for the facts

Eye of the tiger: Young Andreas Taha gets his face painted at the Lutheran Family Health Center’s event on June 16, which offered both fun for kids and information for families.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A parking lot became paradise for kids and families on June 16, when they were treated to an open-air fair of stalls featuring foods, games, and some educational information on Sixth Avenue in Sunset Park.

The Sunset Park Promise Neighborhood — a government funded community health project run out of Lutheran Family Support Center — along with Fresh Air Fund Summer Camp, as well as Medicare and Medicaid provider Healthplus Amerigroup — used the Center’s stretch of blacktop near 60th Street to host several hundred people at its Family Fun Festival on Saturday. Alyse Erman, deputy director of Park Promise, said it was part of an ongoing outreach effort to those living in the neighborhood.

“It’s important for the organizations to know the communities that they’re working in, and residents know what resources that were available,” said Erman, recalling that she’d been to recent meetings where residents requested programs and services that were already in existence.

Sweet!: Eight-year-old Susan Wei enjoys some cotton candy at the Family Fun Festival in Sunset Park on Saturday.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

To bridge the information gap, Park Promise created stations at the festival for food stamps applications, the Brooklyn Public library, $5 or less books, summer camp sign-up, and workshops on everything from age-appropriate music to American legal rights — and then added live music, DJs, sweets, and face-painting to the mix, which Erman said helped draw people in.

“We had food stamps right next to cotton candy, and people could come for one and get the other,” Erman said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

Drumming up attention: A percussionist from the Heritage OP band shows off his instrument at the Family Fun Festival in Sunset Park, an event designed both to entertain and educate familiies.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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