Help foster children enjoy summer activities - KCTV5

Help foster children enjoy summer activities

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

About 15,000 children are currently in foster care in Arizona.

The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF) wants all kids to enjoy and experience summer activities.

"Kids in foster care, they just want to feel like every other kid.  They want to be like the kids on their block who are going to Disneyland, taking swim lessons, have a dance class, have a music lesson, play a sport," said Kris Jacober, AFFCF executive director.

The "Summer Memories" program is a way to help foster kids have a memorable summer.

"This program will help kids in foster care do the kinds of things that there is not state funding for ... Things that create the childhood memories that you have for summertime," added Jacober.

The program helped the Schmidt family of Gilbert get their foster - and now adopted - children swimming lessons and tai kwon do.

"The pay is really minimal, and there's really not enough of it to stretch and help the children do everything the typical children would get to do," said foster parent Stacy Schmidt.

Feedback and appreciation from foster parents and children is extremely positive.  Not only do activities provide summer fun, but they also help kids develop self confidence and social skills.

"They didn't choose to be in foster care, so we just wanted to make them have all the options that any child would have," Schmidt said.

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