Part of fostering resilience involves connecting families with opportunities for joy. The adage “families who play together stay together” seems to hold true: children who recreate with family feel more valued, and couples who recreate together report higher satisfaction in their relationships. In addition to physical health benefits, we also know that recreation encourages self-discovery, development of problem-solving skills, and increases a sense of connectedness --all important components of social mobility.
Yet, many lack the opportunity to benefit from play and time together. Low-income families are often unable to participate in sports or cultural activities because of barriers like user fees and equipment costs, transportation, inconsistent work schedules, or social support. Across the country the “activity gap” is on the rise: low-income youth are 30-50% less likely to participate in activities like sports than higher income children. Yet we know when children participate in extracurriculars, they develop skills and values that help them move out of poverty.
Fortunately, the value of increasing access to recreation is shared by you, our community. The Winter Access Program, made possible through dynamic partnerships, gets up to forty adults and children out in the snow. Methow Trails provides free ski passes for qualifying families connected to Room One, and gear is made available through Winthrop Mountain Sports, Methow Cycle and Sport and the Methow Valley Ski School. Together we are helping local families build resilience and have fun in the process.