City of Philadelphia, PA

04/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2024 14:03

It’s A Summer Thing: City unveils summer programs, activities for children, youth, teens, and families

Programs and opportunities are regularly updated at phila.gov/itsasummerthing

PHILADELPHIA - Today, Mayor Cherelle L. Parker and other City of Philadelphia officials announced programming for the 2024 "It's A Summer Thing!" season. It's A Summer Thing! is the City's lineup of programs and activities available to children, youth, teens, and families all summer long.

City officials promoted the various ways that young people and families can remain engaged when schools dismiss for the academic year, including pools, spray grounds, summer camps, enhanced summer learning, paid work-based learning experiences, playstreets, and seasonal jobs.

"I'm excited that the City of Philadelphia is rolling out a plan to keep youth safe and engaged over the summer," said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. "Summer is more than a break from school. It's an opportunity to participate in safe, organized, and supervised activities that help develop our future leaders of tomorrow."

"It's so important to address the issue of public safety from a prevention standpoint," Philadelphia City Council President Kenyatta Johnson (Second District) said. "My aunt taught me as a child, that an idle mind is the Devil's workshop. I want to thank Mayor Cherelle Parker's Administration for being proactive in having a variety of programs available to Philadelphia's children this summer."

It's A Summer Thing! programming is offered by the City's Office of Children and Families (OCF), which consists of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Prevention Programs-Out of School Time (OST), and Youth Workforce Development. Joining OCF with offering summer programming are the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), Philadelphia Works, and Philadelphia Police Department (PPD).

Information about the programs can be found at the online one-stop hub which features weblinks that guide web visitors to information on registration, timelines, locations, and requirements. The address for this hub is phila.gov/itsasummerthing.

Vanessa Garrett Harley, Chief Deputy Managing Director for Children and Families, said, "We aim to create a fun, safe, and enriching summer for our young people and families. We are delighted to provide a variety of free or low-cost positive programs to young people of all ages in every part of the city."

Officials debuted two new program additions to It's A Summer Thing! activities this year:

  • The recently announced Career Connected Learning program, where 8,000 young people can participate in work-based learning and career exploration opportunities and receive a stipend.
  • The all-new Summer Achievers program, a partnership with the SDP and OCF, which offers enrichment, math and reading support, meals, camp-like activities, and field trips for rising 1st through 8th graders at no cost to families.

Returning It's A Summer Thing! activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Play time and free meals and snacks on City blocks through the Playstreets program, PPR
  • More than 100 summer camps at recreation centers and parks, PPR
  • Swimming and free swim lessons at pools and water play at spray grounds, PPR
  • Reading and STEM-focused programs at library branches citywide, FLP
  • Various OST enrichment camps located in schools and community-based locations citywide, SDP
  • Positive youth development programming such as gaming, conflict resolution, and financial literacy classes at various programs and provider sites citywide, DHS
  • Extended summer hours at Police Athletic League Centers, PPD
  • Law enforcement training and experience through mentoring, classroom instruction, and hands-on training through the Philadelphia Police Explorer Cadet Program and Youth Police Camp, PPD
  • Paid job opportunities for teens including lifeguarding, being a pool maintenance attendant, or participating in an experience through the all-new Career Connected Learning program, Citywide

It's A Summer Thing! also features free meal distribution at PPR camps, OST Summer Programs, and Playstreets citywide. For more information about free food, visit the food locator at phila.gov/food.

Philadelphians can visit the It's A Summer Thing! website at phila.gov/itsasummerthing for regular updates, program descriptions, enrollment details, and more information. There is also a hotline number available at 215-709-5366.

Additional Statements

Kevin J. Bethel, Commissioner for PPD
"The Philadelphia Police Department recognizes the importance of providing our youth with safe and positive environments where they can learn, play, and grow. As the agency responsible for public safety, we are fully committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable summer for all residents and visitors of our great city."

Susan Slawson, Commissioner for PPR
"It truly is a summer thing at Parks and Rec. This is our season of fun, and I am excited about all the high-quality, affordable programming that we're bringing to Philly's children and families."

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