The "friends" succeeded – not just in saving the only ice rink in DC, but also in creating a vibrant community resource in Ward 7. Today, FFDIA reaches more than 2,500 youth, many receiving free or subsidized lessons. And the benefits extend far beyond the ice. The arena is an incredibly diverse place for children to learn life lessons while having fun and creating relationships: they build self-confidence, self-esteem, character and a sense of accomplishment both on and off the ice. Group classes teach respect and responsibility; hockey teams build sportsmanship and collaboration; advanced figure skating helps young people grow in fitness and confidence. DCPS and PCS integrate skating into their physical education curriculum, while summer camps ensure that children have an engaging (and cool) destination. Become a friend, and learn what a difference a little ice can make!
Skaters attended virtual DREAM camp sessions in July, took part in workouts with Team USA DREAM skaters, took dance class with Serge Onik (a dance professional from Dancing With the Stars), and more. With the ice rink still closed, it has found new ways to keep families and kids actively engaged with a community they love. Its FDIA Plug-in program is really a way to unplug and get connected to the outdoors (via neighborhood hikes), stay healthy (think yoga and online exercise), and stay creative (with art classes from Coach Stephanie). Stay tuned for the much-anticipated reopening of the ice rink.