Children's Beach House March 2024 Newsletter (Scroll to read)

Springtime is an easy time to be optimistic about the world. Just as the deep freeze of winter yields to the buds and blossoms, the children around the Beach House are perking up, too, as if activated by the extra sunlight. The preschool playground and its new little free library are getting heavy use while the kids build strength, coordination, and cooperation skills. Our weekend campers are spending more time in pickup basketball games, or at community events like this weekend’s SEEK (Safety, Enrichment, & Education for Kids) event at Lewes Elementary School. Even the adults are getting excited for our annual charity golf event in May. The whole world seems to be waking up to a sense of possibility, which is something you’ll see throughout this month’s newsletter. Those possibilities come first and foremost from you, our friends, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters. Thank you for your generous gifts of time, money, and talent. The stories featured here are your stories, too. I hope you are as inspired by them as we are.

With you in the work,

Richard T. Garrett

CBH Carries Message of Possibilities to Cape High Students

It should be said early and often that there are many paths to success. For some high school graduates, going to college at age 18 is not the right choice at the right time. Civilization benefits when young adults have multiple options to becoming creative, productive, responsible members of society.

Often, those options are too few, or too hard to find.

This was the message that CBH AmeriCorps service member Libby Hobson brought to the students at Cape Henlopen High School a few weeks ago. Her visit is part of CBH’s core belief that children, families, and communities grow and thrive interdependently, and that each must be healthy and strong for the others to reach their potential. In developing long-term partnerships with schools, clubs, and civic organizations, CBH invests in the health and success of the whole ecosystem.

Hobson spent three class periods speaking to roughly 60 students about AmeriCorps, why she chose it, and its impact on her life and on those she serves.

AmeriCorps is a vast program across the U.S., and its service members perform jobs as diverse as the communities they serve, across the sectors of education, economic opportunity, disaster services, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, and veterans and their families. For Hobson and the other service members at Children’s Beach House, that means providing essential programming support for the Youth Development Program, both in camp and in the afterschool program at Milton Elementary School.

Libby Hobson shows students at Milton Elementary School how to craft props for an upcoming performance.

“AmeriCorps could be a great option for many students, including [CBH] Youth Development Program participants,” Hobson said. “If you’re looking to stay local, invest in the community, earn some money, and set yourself up for school or pay off student loans, AmeriCorps has a ton of options right here in Sussex County.”

For more information, visit

Learning from Children: The Power of Rest

Nap time in the Child Development Center is a sacred hour at the Beach House. People avoid congregating in the hallways, and our facilities team puts down their power tools. If you visit during nap time, it might look like not much is going on. But research, as well as lived experience in the classroom, tells another story.

In that delicious slice of rest, children’s brains are as active as ever, consolidating memories and information learned earlier that day and clearing out the short-term memory to make room for more learning later. Study after study confirms the benefits of rest time, as well as the potential learning and productivity losses when rest time is denied.

"Idleness ... is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body." — Tim Kreider, New York Times

In American society, nap time goes out the window around kindergarten, and so begins a lifetime of prizing maximum productivity. Even classic concepts of work-life balance (think of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” or taking a weeklong vacation) have been eroded by technology that makes it possible, sometimes even mandatory, to be always connected, always available, always on.

To be sure, rest is a privilege that is not afforded to all. For parents working multiple jobs and juggling childcare, the moments when rest is even an option are painfully few. But even when they do occur, we often feel a sense of guilt for taking advantage of them. We lie down on the couch and immediately sense that we should be chipping away at our mountainous to-do list.

And so, to assuage our guilt, we get up.

Or we check our email, in a kind of pseudo-productivity.

Really, the best thing we could do is to capture those few minutes of rest and prepare to re-engage the rest of our day with renewed energy and focus.

Children can be our teachers in this. Once we learn to identify those tell-tale signs of exhaustion or overstimulation in children, we can begin to identify them in ourselves and hopefully structure our days to build in the downtime that every human — child, working parent, and retiree — needs to be happy, healthy, and whole.

All of us at the Beach House wish you and your family a restful and restorative spring break. Remember that the Child Development Center will be closed starting Friday, March 29, and will reopen on Monday, April 8.

CBH Honored with 2023 Superstars in Business Award from Delaware State Chamber of Commerce

At the end of last year, the Beach House was recognized as an outstanding nonprofit business. Our commitment to positive youth development, along with the dedication and innovation of our staff, set CBH apart. We are very proud to showcase this award (and the celebratory video below) as a monument to what is possible when all of us — children, youth, adults, and organizations — share our best with each other in pursuit of a rich and vibrant future.

Your support makes all these stories possible. Every day.