City announces summer programs

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The sun is shining and summer is right around the corner in the City of Brotherly Love.

As local families plan for the summer months, the Office of Children and Families (OCF) and partners have launched a summer resource campaign, PlayItSafePHL, highlighting opportunities for children, teens, and families. This summer features the return of some favorite in-person activities, including pools and group sports. Activities will serve about 30,000 children and youth across School District sites, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation camps, WorkReady and Playstreets, community based organizations providing Out-of-School Time programs, and Police Athletic League activities.

“Serving and supporting our city’s children is a year-round priority for the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kinney in a statement. “I’m proud that we’ve been able to restore the summer opportunities and activities that children and families look forward to every year, and I hope that every child has a great summer of learning and fun.”

Free or low-cost in-person summer activities for Philadelphia children include: Out-of-School Time Network summer programs, Parks & Rec summer camps, Police Athletic League activities, free swim lessons at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation outdoor pools, School District of Philadelphia summer programming, and paid summer experiences for 8,000 older youth through WorkReady. The city’s Playstreets program will also return. Last year, more than 350 Playstreets offered children nutritious meals and safe recreation on various city blocks.

“We’re proud to offer many opportunities for learning, recreation, and fun this summer,” said OCF Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa in a statement. “Summer is an important time for young people to stay active, have adventures, explore new skills, and build friendships. This wouldn’t be possible without the City departments and partners who have worked hard this spring to give Philadelphia a great summer.”

In addition, The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder will offer reading challenges, events, and activities for readers of all ages throughout the city. The Free Library will also partner with GSK and The Franklin Institute to offer Science this Summer, featuring at-home experiments and virtual research sessions for children in grades 2-6. This year’s theme is “Be an Engineer!”

“The School District of Philadelphia has long appreciated the way the City of Philadelphia works with us to provide opportunities for our students and their families,” said Superintendent William Hite. “It is always important to have enriching activities that offer safe options for our students each summer, but, as we all continue to deal with the multitude of changes caused by the pandemic, it is especially important to have programming that will allow students to gather with one another and begin to resume some sense of normalcy.”

Providers who are interested in being matched with a School District of Philadelphia site to offer non-academic programming should complete this form by May 7. Requests will be vetted by OCF in coordination with the School District of Philadelphia.

Programs are prepared to make this a safe, fun summer and will follow applicable COVID-19 health and safety protocols, such as mask wearing, frequent handwashing, and social distancing.

Families can learn more at phila.gov/PlayItSafePHL

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