PATERSON, NJ- More than 2000 Paterson children danced, jumped, climbed, and bounced in Eastside Park on Thursday as the city’s youth summer day camp participants enjoyed a “Fun Day in the Sun.”

Under the watchful eye of city Recreation Director Benjie Wimberly, the children who have attended camps all across Paterson throughout the summer also had the chance to play video games, give performances, and enjoy carnival foods like snow cones, cotton candy, and popcorn. Members of Paterson’s Fire Department were once again present with their grill fired up preparing hot dogs and hamburgers by the dozens under a scorching sun.

Campers, according to Wimberly, receive a breakfast and lunch each day and are afforded the chance to participate in a “structured environment” through the camps.

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“We keep them active and physically fit throughout the summer,” Wimberly told TAPinto Paterson. With an added academic program at several of the sites, in partnership with Paterson Public Schools, it’s also an opportunity to “keep their minds sharp.”

According to Board of Education Commissioner Vincent Arrington the camp is also a chance for those attending to “meet new kids and make new friends,” something important, he said, in a city as large and diverse as Paterson. “This gets kids out of their comfort zone,” helping them to build relationships with others all across the city, he continued.

Surveying the success of the day, and offering a few high fives, Mayor Andre Sayegh, less than an hour removed from a press conference in which he announced a renewed effort to bolster recycling to generate addition revenue for the city treasury said that “the best investment we can make is in our children.”

“This is an investment we are guaranteed to get a return on.”