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Posted on: March 13, 2020

COUNCIL EXPANDS PROGRAMS TO KEEP KIDS OFF THE STREETS THIS SUMMER

To help make sure kids are off the streets and in safe, fun learning environments this summer, the Children’s Services Council has approved $370,000 in funding to expand summer activities for children in St. Lucie County.

For the past twenty years, the Children’s Services Council has been dedicated to ensuring summer opportunities for local children. This year, twelve programs will receive much-needed funding to assist children in our community by providing full-time summer activities that run at least 8 weeks of the summer break.  The goal is two-fold: to enhance our community by keeping kids off the streets over the summer and to keep them engaged in learning activities to help avoid any potential learning loss.

The summer programs that will receive funding from Children’s Services Council include Boys & Girls Clubs, Coalition for Independent Living, City of Fort Pierce, Give Back 2 Kids, Grace Educational Center, Helping People Succeed, In the Image of Christ, IRSC – Emerging Technologies, Lindsay School of the Arts, Lincoln Park Community Center, Sword Outreach, The Momentum Foundation and Treasure Coast Elite.  These programs are added to those already providing year-round services to children at ALPI, E.N.D. It, Frontline for Kids, Future Generations, Multi-Cultural Resource Center, Save Our Children, The Arc of St. Lucie County and YMCA of the Treasure Coast.

Notable enhancements this year are programs focusing on STEM activities including the IRSC – Emerging Technology Summer Learning Experience targeting high school age youth and expanded Boys & Girls Club locations to offer afternoon programs to students participating in 21st Century Learning morning programs. Other new programs focus on special needs populations or specific outreach to teens to assist with vocational training. All programs receiving funding support from the Children’s Services Council will incorporate language and literacy skills for school age children and career exploration activities for older youth.

The selected programs were evaluated based upon their focus on mitigating summer learning loss, program location, projected number of children to be served and the estimated cost to families. These programs expect to serve an additional 1,000 local children in summer programs that will help improve their academic performance during a time when students typically lose ground. Sean Boyle, Executive Director of the Children’s Services Council, noted that while summer camps are designed to be fun, these programs focus on much more. “Each of these programs has a plan for high-quality summer learning opportunities. Having fun is a part of that, and we, of course, want them to be safe, but ensuring that they are continuing to learn is so important during the summer months when they are away from the classroom.”

In addition to these summer learning programs, the Children’s Services Council is partnering with the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce, for the second year, to provide local educational and recreational opportunities for youth participating in these programs. Working through the Chamber’s Seven Gables House, summer camps can book excursions and field trips to area attractions like the UDT Navy Seal Museum, trips with Lisa’s Kayaks, tours on the River Lily Eco Cruise and much more. This “Summer Passport” partnership has created some first time experiences for youth as well as boosted local businesses during the summer months.

Information about these summer programs being supported by the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, including registration, can be found here or, please call us at 772.408.1100.

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