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Rites to Play 2014

By Lauren Albright ′16

For nearly 60 years, the Kinney Community Service Program at Rhodes has been actively engaging students in service and social action in Memphis and the surrounding community.  One of the largest events that the Kinney team hosts is Rites to Play, which brings together Rhodes students and Memphis youth, one of the program’s main goals. This April 5th, the Kinney team hosted their 17th annual Rites to Play carnival. Despite chilly weather, families from the local community, Rhodes faculty and staff, and dozens of student volunteers came out to Oak Alley to show how “Wild about Memphis” they are.

Jungle-themed balloons and t-shirts, as well as a friendly monkey, greeted children and their families. Other activities included a photo booth, a petting zoo, a train ride, and student-led tables with educational and interactive activities. Every aspect of the event is free, including t-shirts for the kids and lunch for everyone.

Despite the dreary weather, this year’s Rites to Play surpassed previous years in attendance and activities. Kinney directors Shawnecca Burke ’14, Georgia Loftis ’14, and Taylor Seiben ’15, who spent the whole semester coordinating the event, estimate that more than 800 people came out to celebrate this year.