Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the launch of the Fun Safe Philly Summer campaign, a summer-long effort to involve and engage Philadelphia youth in structured programming, drop-in activities and the Summer Meals Program. The kick-off coincides with the update to the youth programming website, which will serve as a one-stop information hub for available summer activities for all ages.
“Summer is certainly a time to relax and enjoy a break from school. But it is also an invaluable opportunity for our young people to be active and engaged in fun and enriching programming,” Mayor Nutter said. “Fun Safe Philly Summer is an all-encompassing campaign aimed at promoting available structured programs and encouraging involvement in drop-in activities, as a way to ensure young people are spending their time productively.”
Fun Safe Philly Summer is collaborative project across City agencies, departments and external partners.
For summer 2012, the City of Philadelphia has identified more than 15,000 structured summer program spots for youth, including up to 8,000 slots at 140 Department of Parks and Recreation sites. Paired with structured programming, the City is also promoting participation in drop-in activities at recreation centers, public libraries, pools, KEYSPOT computer centers and more.
“This summer, the City of Philadelphia is taking a proactive approach to helping kids and teens create their own summer program,” said Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBernardinis. “Drop-in activities, like visiting one of the 54 public library branches, swimming at one of 70 public pools or playing at a neighborhood recreation center, can be enriching and safe options for spending your summer.”
Susan Slawson, First Deputy Commissioner for Recreation and Programs said, “The Department of Parks and Recreation offers affordable, fun and safe summer opportunities for youth of all ages in neighborhoods throughout the City. Our programs serve the diverse needs of our youth no matter their interest; such as the arts, athletics, outdoor education or computer classes.”
As part of Fun Safe Philly Summer, the City is working with Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) on the Save Summer Jobs program. Save Summer Jobs identifies and reaches out to local businesses to create jobs or internships for young people.
Mayor Nutter also introduced the Summer Service and Summer Reading Challenge, which offers incentives to young people who read and/or volunteer this summer. Challenge participants can pick up and drop off forms at any branch of the Free Public Library. The challenges are:
- The Summer Reading Challenge is open to youth ages 5 to 18. Participants will read three books and complete book reports.
- The Summer Service Challenge is open to older youth, ages 14-18. Participants will volunteer at least three service events, completing no less than 10 service hours.
Participants, who complete the challenges, will be entered in to a raffle drawing including donated tickets from the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Philadelphia Zoo, as well as American Idol concert tickets and WWE Wrestling tickets. Each winner will reach two tickets. The grand prize is two tickets to Power 99’s 30th Annual Powerhouse concert in October.
“Fun Safe Philly Summer capitalizes on the importance of providing young people with positive and engaging activities. This will not only help to keep youth engaged but also safe during the summer months,” said Philadelphia Youth Commission Executive Director Jamira Burley. “As a commission that represents the interest of youth between the ages of 12 and 23, the Philadelphia Youth Commission recognizes the need to provide youth with various forms of engagement. When young people are involved in these kinds of activities, they are more likely to stay engaged in positive activities throughout the year.”
The Fun Safe Philly Summer campaign also encourages enrollment in the Summer Food Service Program, a federally funded program that serves breakfast, lunch and snacks to children 18 years of age and younger and mentally and physically challenged persons who are enrolled in specialized programs. The Summer Food Service Program begins on June 18, 2012.
In 2011, the Summer Food Service Program served 2.8 million meals to about 90,000 Philadelphians. However, an additional 41,000 children were eligible to receive food services but were not registered. Meals are served at nearly 1,000 sites across the City, including recreation centers, playgrounds, Play Streets, summer camps, community organizations and schools and daycare centers.
Mayor Nutter also reminded parents, caregivers and youth that the summer curfew will go into effect when the school year ends on June 14, 2012. The curfew times are as follows:
- 13 years old and younger, 9 PM;
- 14 and 15, 10 PM; and
- 16 and 17, 11 PM.
For more information on summer youth programming options and for a full list of program start dates and times, call 3-1-1 or log on to www.phila.gov/youthprograms. Follow Fun Safe Philly Summer on Twitter @PhillySummer or on Tumblr at www.funsafephillysummer.tumblr.com.