Mayor Fischer announces summer learning programs for youth, teenagers
Also unveils new online tools for parents and caregivers
LOUISVILLE (May 16, 2016) – From Safari and TeensConnect camps at the Louisville Zoo, to Summer Reading and the annual Cultural Pass, Louisville is offering dozens of programs designed to keep students’ minds and bodies active during the summer break, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.
The programs complement the hundreds of camps and enrichment activities organized by non-profit organizations, local colleges and universities, museums, churches, libraries and arts organizations.
“Lifelong learning is a pillar of our city, and that includes summer-time learning. We cannot afford for our students to spend the summer losing knowledge they’ve gained during the school year,” the Mayor said. “All of these programs help students enhance their learning, not lose it.”
Jefferson County Public School district (JCPS) is also offering camps this summer to assist English as a Second Language students; students who may need a summer learning boost; and students who need extended learning to help halt summer learning slide.
In addition, JCPS is organizing 15 “Literacy &” camps for elementary students, similar to those offered during Spring Break. So far, those free day camps have been scheduled for Audubon
Traditional, Price, Rangeland, Shelby, Engelhard and Wheatley elementary schools. Locations for the other nine camps are still being finalized.
During the Literacy & camps, students will read a book and participate in an activity featured in the book. JCPS hopes to serve more than 350 students through the camps. Registration information will be provided when the final camp locations are determined. For more information, call (502) 485-3506.
“These camps not only help our students continue building their reading skills over the summer, they also open the doors to new experiences,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens. “The most important thing is to make sure our students have many opportunities to learn over the summer, so they show up next school year prepared and ready to succeed.”
To help families sort through the many summer offerings, the Mayor also announced a new searchable database of quality Out of School Time (OST) programs.
Thanks to the BLOCS community partnership, families can access this new tool year-round by visiting www.louisvilleblocs.org and clicking on the 2-1-1 link. The list is also available by dialing Metro United Way’s 211 call-in line, or accessing the 211 app.
BLOCS was established in 2011 by Louisville Metro Government, JCPS, Metro United Way and the Louisville Alliance for Youth, in an effort to bridge in-school and out-of-school time, while demonstrating OST programming is a fundamental support in improving educational outcomes.
“Since students only spend 9 percent of their lives in school, it’s important to make every minute count and make sure learning continues outside the classroom,” said Joe Tolan, President and CEO of Metro United Way. “By giving parents easy access to quality out-of-school time programs through our 2-1-1 information and referral line, we hope to ensure students all across our community graduate high school on time and move on to college or career.”
Also today, the BLOCS partners announced 10 programs that were selected as recipients of their 2016 Summer Learning Initiative Awards, which include funding to support the development and implementation of quality OST summer programming for youth.
Winning recipients were honored for implementation of best practices to help prevent summer learning loss in the areas of reading and math; enrichment activities and other experiences to promote growth, learning and development; and consistent data collection and reporting.
The programs are: Americana Community Center, Bates Community Development Corp., Canaan Community Development Corp., Family & Children’s Place; First Gethsemane; Highland Park Community Development Center; Lighthouse Promise Center; Norfolk Community Area Council; Plymouth Community Center; and St. George’s Community Center.
Tolan also noted today that BLOCS is partnering with Jefferson Community and Technical College to offer a 60 training hour professional certificate program that, for the first time, coordinates the training necessary to be a skilled youth work professional, including wellness, safety and tips for empowering youth. Launched in January, the program already has more than 85 people registered and working toward their certificate.
In addition to Tolan, the Mayor was joined during today’s news conference by Dr. John Marshall of JCPS, Jim Blanton of the Louisville Free Public Library, and Ben Johnson of Metro Parks & Recreation, as well as District 3 Councilwoman Mary Woolridge and representatives of the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods.
Among other program highlights they mentioned:
Cultural Pass: The passes will be available at all 18 Louisville Free Public libraries and Metro Parks Community Centers, starting on May 23. They will be valid June 5 – Aug. 6.
Louisville Free Public Library: The library is launching Beanstack, an online parent-engagement tool that connects families with free reading recommendations, as well as educational programs like Summer Reading and the Cultural Pass. Beanstack allows parents, caregivers and educators to preregister online for those programs, and, by creating custom profiles for young readers, receive learning tips and recommendations of age-appropriate books available for checkout. Parents can also easily track their child’s reading progress on a personal dashboard, while their children can earn special badges for reaching goals in the Summer Reading program and participating in the Cultural Pass – all in a simple, fun and easy-to-use format!
Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods: The office is partnering with the Library on a Summer Violence Prevention program, offering events and activities designed to keep teens active; sponsoring Waterfront Field Days with Hope by Hope; and will be training One Love Louisville ambassadors. The office also is involved in the annual Dirt Bowl and helping sponsor a national convening for Rumble Young Man Rumble, among other activities. See more at https://louisvilleky.gov/
Metro Parks & Recreation: Among the highlights from Metro Parks & Recreation are Saturday hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at nearly all community centers, where students can participate in fun activities such as archery, yoga and table tennis; T-ball for ages 5-7 offered for the first time at four community centers – Baxter, California, Portland and Southwick; and Amazing Adventures 2 summer camps at nine sites beginning June 13. Jefferson Memorial Forest, the Louisville Tennis Center and Historic Locust Grove also offer summer camps. For more information, including a full listing of all Metro Parks & Recreation summer programming and an online guide, please visit bestparksever.com.