By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Hundreds of students filled the ACCESS Youth and Family Service Center June 11 for a day filled with family activities and fun.
ACCESS’s fifth annual event featured underserved children and their families from Dearborn, Melvindale, Detroit and Hamtramck.
“Family Fun Day is designed to help families spend as much quality time together as possible and to reward and recognize the achievements of these youth,” said Anisa Sahoubah, director of the ACCESS Youth and Education Department. “It provides an opportunity for students from different cities, schools and backgrounds to celebrate their accomplishments together.”
ACCESS has a 44-year history of providing health, education, employment and social services in greater Detroit to empower people to lead healthy, informed productive lives.
The event celebrates the academic achievements of more than 1,850 youth who participate in the agency’s various academic enrichment programs.
Family Fun Day included carnival rides, rock climbing, face painting, inflatable games, arts and crafts, vendors, and dunk tank.
“It’s an amazing event for my entire family,” attendee Mariam Baydoun said. “I can enjoy a free day of activities with my children after they worked hard all year.”
A basketball tournament between Dearborn police officers and students was also held with the superintendents of the Dearborn, Melvindale and Hamtramck school districts and mayors of all the participating cities.
“I can’t always take our children to arcades and gaming zones due to the cost,” attendee Ahmad Osman said. “ACCESS gives me the opportunity to give my kids the same experience, but for free.”
The fun day also included short program honoring Dearborn Supt. Brian Whiston, with Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly Jr., Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in attendance.
Whiston — who will become superintendent of the State Board of Education July 1 — thanked those at the fun day and ACCESS for the event.
“My time in Dearborn has been amazing and I will miss the city dearly,” Whiston said. “Events like these and organizations like ACCESS are truly special to have in our community.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)