Tuesday, June 2, 2009
7 News Features: Affordable summer programs for kids in Miami-Dade and Broward
Students will soon be out of school, and these days many of their parents are out of work. That means a change in their children's summer plans, but there are many affordable options, which are also fun for the kids. Dave Kartunen has this special report.
WSVN -- Over a game of Connect Four at David Fairchild Elementary, you learn very quickly the tough economic times haven't impacted the anxieties of 7-year-olds who have all the usual summer plans.
Dave Kartunen: "What would you be doing in the summer if you weren't coming here?"
Gianluca Conci, YMCA Student: "I don't know..."
Elizabeth Alvarez, YMCA Student: "I'm going to go to summer camp."
But combine summer plans with tough economic times, and you have the perfect anxiety cocktail for cash-strapped parents, who, from Miami-Dade to Broward County, are leaving waiting lists open for summer camps and programs because they can't afford it or have newfound time to care for the kids because they're out of a job.
Chester Pruitt, Broward Parks and Recreation: "A lot of the things they could afford, like sending the kids on a little summer trip to go see grandma, those types of things, they're not able to do it, so they have to stay home."
Broward County Parks and Recreation says their free, eight-week programs have filled up fast, but space in some programs are still available.
Chester Pruitt: "Field trips, arts and crafts, educational programs for the kids throughout the summer."
Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation works out its financial assistance differently...
Edith Torres, Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation: "They can either get a fee reduction, a full scholarship, and, in some cases, maybe even reimbursement for volunteer services."
Back at David Fairchild, the YMCA wants you to know summer programs like these-- with emphasis on education and physical fitness-- not only have a low cost, but both public and private dollars from the Children's Trust and United Way can defray the cost.
Charlotte Donn, Miami-Dade YMCA: "Find out what the rate is for that camp, and then start the conversation, 'You know, I really can't do that,' and then we'll start working with you."
Christine Samuels, Miami-Dade YMCA: "You cannot put a price on education, you cannot put a price on fun and on families."
Because, in the annual chess game of summer child care, we could all take a few moves from our kids over financial stress...
Dave Kartunen: "Are the teachers nice?"
Gianluca Conci: "Yes."
Dave Kartunen: "Who do you like the best?
Gianluca Conci: "My teacher."
Dave Kartunen: "Yeah? Why?"
Gianluca Conci: "She's nice."
If you'd like to learn more about how to get financial help for summer programs or just learn where some of them are, we've put a list together to helpful link below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation Partner to create a financial assistance program to help residents struggling with economic challenges in addition to offering. Click below for more information on the camp programs and financial assistance program:
Miami-Dade Schools Summer Camp Sites:
For a list of summer camp locations in Miami-Dade:
Sign up from a summer program at a Miami-Dade YMCA camp:
Broward Schools Summer Programs:
After-School And Summer Recreation Programs
At Unincorporated Neighborhood Parks:
Sign up from a summer program at a Broward YMCA camp: