Press release from Mayor's Press Office
– From safari camps at the Louisville Zoo to reading programs in the libraries to an online brain chase game at community centers, Louisville is offering over 80 learning programs for students during the summer break, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.
In addition, there are hundreds of camps and enrichment activities this summer organized by non-profit organizations, local colleges and universities, museums, churches, libraries, and arts organizations.
"There's no excuse for students to spend the summer losing all the knowledge they've gained during the school year," Fischer said. "Many of the city's summer programs are free or low-cost and more importantly, they're fun and educational."
One example is the Junior Achievement (JA) Startup Day Camp program. Thanks to an anonymous donor, the program will travel to groups of young people in June. Typically, groups have to travel to the JA Center in order to participate with costs ranging from $15-$195 per child. This summer the opportunity is FREE.
Educational enrichment throughout the year is vital for a child's success in school. According to the National Summer Learning Association, kids who don't stay engaged during the break lose up to 3 months' worth of math, reading and spelling skills – known as summer learning loss.
"We don't want our future leaders to fall behind in school," Fischer said. "Instead of learning new lessons, they have to re-learn old lessons. Sadly, some of those kids will never catch up."
JCPS, Metro United Way and Metro Government formed Building Louisville's Out-of-School Time Coordinated System (BLOCS) in 2010 to ensure a wide network of programs and activities across the city are available when school is out of session.
Fischer's 2015-16 budget supports BLOCS' goal to improve and continue summer youth programming:
- class="MsoNormal">$800,000 for programming at Metro Parks and Recreation community centers
- class="MsoNormal">$45,000 for the Cultural Pass program – granting kids free access to over 30 participating educational attractions
In addition, a $25,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association will fund fun, interactive classes to educate kids on healthy living and activities at 10 Metro Parks and Recreation community centers.
BLOCS has also partnered with TARC to make 1,500 summer bus passes available to youth ages 9-19 enrolled in programs at no charge. This will help young people travel to and from summer programs, activities and summer jobs with ease. Free bus passes will be distributed to youth at various community centers, Metro Parks and Recreation sites and youth-serving organizations around the city starting June 15th.
Youth and parents can visit http://www.louisvilleblocs.org/ to receive information about summer youth programming in their neighborhood.