United Way of Santa Barbara County recently celebrated the end of the Fun in the Sun program with an Olympic Games party at Elings Park.

More than 200 FITS participants from each of the four FITS sites competed in games to encourage team building, leadership and problem-solving skills. Some of the games included relay races, hula-hooping and a shower cap/shaving cream toss.

Additional festivities included face-painting and craft tables where kids made lanyards and masquerade masks.

“We are thrilled to celebrate another successful Fun in the Sun,” said Paul Didier, CEO and president of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “Although we focus primarily on academics, it is important to incorporate play and games as valuable educational opportunities.”

Before the games, the FITS kids participated in Lunch Bunch. Lunch Bunch is a mentorship program where local individuals and groups volunteer their time to talk to FITS students about different careers and academic paths. At this Lunch Bunch, the students listened to Randy Weiss and his team from Union Bank while enjoying a lunch of pizza and salad provided by Rusty’s Pizza.

This summer, FITS offered participants a fun learning environment with a daily emphasis on literacy, including reading and writing. Afternoon enrichment opportunities include activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), service learning projects and field trips.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.