PHILADELPHIA, PA — With a nod to a phrase popularized during the Philadelphia Eagles’ march to Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney and other officials last week announced “It’s A Summer Thing!” as they unveiled the city’s lineup of programs and activities available to children and teens this summer.
Pools, spray grounds, reading enrichment, STEM activities, free meals, sports activities, summer camps, and seasonal jobs were all promoted as ways to keep young people engaged when schools dismiss for the academic year.
Noting that “It’s a Summer Thing” was a phrase that grew out of the Eagles’ most recent football season, Mayor Jim Kenney emphasized. “When our kids have a summer that is engaging, safe, enriching, and fun, our city wins.”
Families can visit phila.gov/itsasummerthing to learn about summer programming offered by the City’s Office of Children and Families (OCF), consisting of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), and the Department of Human Services (DHS), as well as its partners, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) and Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). Links will guide visitors to information on registration, timelines, locations, and requirements.
“Our goal is for children and youth to have a fun, safe, and enriching summer,” said Vanessa Garrett Harley, Deputy Mayor of the Office of Children and Families. “We are pleased to offer a wide range of free or low-cost positive programs to children and youth of all ages in all areas of the city.”
Summer activities for children and youth include:
- Over 100 summer camps at Recreations Centers and Parks sponsored by the PPR.
- Swimming and free swim lessons at pools and water play at spraygrounds.
- Out-of-School Time (OST) summer camps located in schools and community-based locations throughout the City.
- Reading activities at library branches throughout the City.
- Fun activities and play time on hundreds of blocks throughout the City as part of the City’s Play Streets Program.
- Positive youth development programming such as gaming, conflict resolution, and financial literacy classes at the Community Evening Resource Centers which are open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Recreation and athletic programming at PAL sites throughout the City.
- Diversion programming and activities through the DHS Intensive Prevention Services program for at-risk youth.
- Paid job opportunities for teens through the WorkReady program.
- Summer jobs at the City pools as lifeguards and pool maintenance attendants through PPR.
Free meals are distributed at PPR camps, OST Summer Programs, and Play Streets throughout the City. For more information about free food, please see phila.gov/food.
In order to help make this a safe summer for our children and youth, PPD First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford urged parents to be responsible and accountable for their children and to help police enforce youth curfew laws. He also said police would step up patrols around pools and recreation centers during the summer.
Information about enrollment, applications, and descriptions of these programs and numerous others throughout the city, can be accessed through phila.gov/itsasummerthing. Programs and opportunities will be regularly updated at this website.
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