Every year we take our student Dreamers on an all-program cultural enrichment ice skating field trip where they get to interact with fellow Dreamers from different programs while enjoying a day of fun on the ice. This is part of our whole-child education and support program. Ninth and 10th graders from Program 16/17 in Inglewood, 6th graders from Program 18 in Watts, and 3rd graders from Program 19 in Boyle Heights were transported to the Toyota Sports Center, where they got to eat lunch and skate for a couple of hours. Our staff, program coordinators, and program assistants also joined the kids on the rink, lending a helping hand as balancing partners for wobbly Dreamers.
For those of you who have tried ice skating yourself, you know it is not as easy as figure skaters and hockey players make it seem. As the Dreamers were enjoying their lunches inside the Toyota Sports Center eating area, they had the opportunity to watch the LA Kings practice intense drills and reinforce skills needed to beat their competition. It was a pretty “cool” experience to watch professional hockey players glide around on the ice. In awe, the younger Dreamers carefully watched the LA Kings elegantly and skillfully hit the puck with ease. Once done with their lunches and inspired by the Kings, the Dreamers got a turn on the ice themselves.
Cultural Enrichment Field Trips
For many of the at-risk youth we serve, this was their first experience ice skating. Thus, this culturally enriching field trip was an opportunity to try something new and also meet fellow student Dreamers from the other Programs. Although the temperature inside the ice rink was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it didn’t stop the kids from getting on the ice. Many of them grabbed the rink’s wall as they realized how difficult ice skating was–not like the LA Kings players made it look! The first half of ice skating involved many falls and sprawls on the ice, but eventually they all got the hang of the skill in their own way. Ice skating is great for learning balance awareness, which our Dreamers definitely found out. It’s also a fun way to improve cardio endurance and core strength while helping ease stress. IHADLA was so happy to see the joy and confidence that learning to ice skate brought our Dreamers. Thank you to our wonderful donors and supporters who make enriching field trips like this a possibility.