In Long Branch: Pop Up Event Celebrates Children’s Success (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

The YMCA Community Center hosted on July 28 the annual Common Ground Pop Up celebration.

This event honors children who live in Silver Spring’s Long Branch neighborhood- one of the poorest communities in Montgomery County- and are part of a free summer program called Common Ground where they learn digital art, crafts, and acting.

“We’ve been in this community helping grow leaders from elementary school all the way to their involvement in the general community,” said Carson Henry, executive director of the YMCA Community Center.

And every year they have a theme to celebrate their accomplishments.

“One year was more than just a number. This year was coming from where I am from,” Henry said.

The Common Ground program helps more than 30 middle and high school students every summer. At the center, they do painting, performing, writing and more.

common 6Besides Common Ground, the YMCA Community Center offers a safe place for children to do crafts and after-school activities throughout the year white parents are at work.

Gina Sanderson, of Lanham, said this summer program helped her son to develop better social skills.

“He’s becoming a little more well-rounded instead of wanting to stay in the house, in the room. He actually wants to come out,” she said.




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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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