NEWARK, NJ - School is out, summer is here and the City of Newark is offering activities that blend learning, wellness, and fun to keep youth engaged throughout the summer.
Programming will provide young people the opportunity to meet other youth around the city and to be in positive environments.
“We have to continue to keep our kids involved and active because when our kids are not involved and active, they’re easily swayed by the influence of the streets,” said Patrick Council, Director of the Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services, during a Newark Today broadcast.
Summer in the City offers free seven-week day camps throughout the city for kids ages seven through 13. Day camps run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and provide breakfast and lunch.
Camps include courses for kids to learn about health and wellness and meet various career professionals.
The city also hosts its HBCU travel camp that exposes students to historically black colleges, universities, and assists with the college application process. The first Harriet Tubman Travel Camp for six through eight-year-olds will expose young people to places within Newark and the surrounding area.
Community pools open June 28 and new parks will open this summer. Boxing camp is offered as is a citywide Summer Madness basketball tournament.
Senior and adult residents are not left out of all the fun. The city will hold the Senior Olympics at Shabazz Athletic Complex in August and offer trips to different beaches and cruise and yachts rides.
“Our main job is to drive people off their porches, into our parks and recreational facilities, that they can be able to come out, explore and enjoy themselves during the summer season and continue to provide them with information so they can know where they can be and what they can do this summer,” said Council.
Funding, provided by philanthropic and corporate partners, helps make the expanded summer recreation options available. Partnerships make it possible for the city to have these things, with a low burden on taxpayers said Mayor Ras Baraka.
The mayor said he wants to continue to be able to utilize the rich resources the city has like the watershed where over 1,000 students participated in Newark’s Watershed Science and Leadership Academy. The mayor recently launched a citywide youth book club and is intentional to provide programs that enrich children’s lives both culturally and socially.
“We want them to have wholesome experiences, opportunity to have fun, learn, engage, be in a structured environment during the summertime, not wandering around,” said Baraka.
To learn more about summer recreation in the city and sign up for camp options, call (973) 733-6454.