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Guest Column

Mayor Thomas M. Menino

As the school year comes to an end this week and students trade the classroom for the swimming pool, I want to remind everyone of the outstanding variety of activities and programs available to our youth this summer. With increased programming, from summer school to summer camps, the city is hard at work to ensure that all Boston youth have the opportunity to experience a safe and happy summer.

For students enrolled in summer school, Boston Public Schools (BPS) recently announced changes to its “Summer Scholars 2010” program, which will serve more than 5,000 students this year. The school day will be extended to six hours and will include daily enrichment activities such as arts instruction, golf, yoga, forensic science and a weekly field trip. BPS is breaking the conventional wisdom of what summer school looks like, creating a fresh, high quality education for its students not only during the academic year, but year-round.

In addition to the many summer camps, athletic leagues, classes and events offered this summer, Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) is working closely with BPS to ensure that every student enrolled in summer school has a place to go after the school day. Our young people also have the opportunity to enroll in several employment and skill-development programs geared specifically toward teens preparing to enter the workforce.

 This week I announced that the city of Boston has come very close to our goal of providing 10,000 summer jobs for teens. This has been a major priority of my administration and thanks to their hard work and the generosity of our private funders and local businesses, we are putting more Boston teens to work and providing them with not only a paycheck, but an essential educational experience.

Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! (Recreational Opportunities for City Kids), which enters its fourth year of connecting our youth with free and low cost programs, provides more than 1,000 programs to Boston city kids. Camp Harbor View is just one outstanding example of an affordable summer program geared toward low-income families. Since 2007 this summer camp located on the Boston Harbor Islands introduces youth to new skills. The camp has been a tremendous success and continues to grow. I am very proud to say that this year the camp will provide more than 900 of Boston’s inner-city youth a four week camp experience for only $5.

 Keeping our young people engaged in safe, healthy and fun activities during the summer is extremely important. Our city agencies and partners have collectively worked to ensure that all of Boston’s youth have access to an activity or program that interests them this summer. I encourage young people and their families to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are available. It is not too late to sign up. Together, we can ensure that all Boston youth experience a safe, healthy and enriching summer.  

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