Dozens of New York City kids are getting a change of scenery this summer, staying with Fresh Air Fund volunteers all along the Main Line.
About 40 children arrived Monday at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr to meet their host families. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent not-for-profit that has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877, according to a press release about the organization.
First-time participants usually stay with their host families a week, said Fresh Air Fund representative Catharine Williams. Some returning visitors stay for a few weeks to a month, she added.
"It's so much fun to have another kid around," said Bryn Mawr resident Betsy Rogers, a third-year host. "Everyone should do it, old or young—it's a fantastic experience."
While they're here, children visit a number of places in the greater Main Line community. Some already-planned events include swimming lessons at the Philadelphia Sports Club in Radnor, a trip to Chanticleer Gardens, a cooking class at the Viking Culinary Center in Bryn Mawr and bowling at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne.
"When I was in grad school in NYC, I found out about it and said I'd do it when I was older," said Diana Lim of Garnet Valley, who is hosting a boy named Alexio for the second year. "It's fabulous, and I would recommend it to any family. It's wonderful."
For more information about the program locally, visit freshairfundofthemainline.org.