04-30-2017  7:56 am      •     
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Today is the last day of school for students in Portland Public Schools. The Skanner News has compiled a list of free and low-cost programs throughout the city to keep children and teenagers busy.

Portland Parks & Recreation

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All includes 55 concerts in the park, 41 movies in the Park, 27 summer playgrounds and lunchsites, 20 mobile playgrounds sites, free swim sessions at all of PP&R’s indoor andoutdoor pools, and the Washington Park Summer Festival.  In addition, a Children’s Concert Series at Unthank Park is new this year. 

Click here to view Summer Free for All schedules. Click here to see a list of summer camps, register and apply for financial aid.

PP&R is offering the Summer Free For All schedule in nine different languages this year: Arabic, Burmese, English, simplified Chinese, Nepalese, Russian, Spanish, Somalian and Vietnamese.

Summer Free For All programming consists of a broad portfolio of culturally diverse music, movies, and recreation programs.  Through the Summer Playgrounds & Lunch program, PP&R expects to serve more than111,000 free, healthy lunches to children in parks across the city. (To find a meal site in your area, visit http://www.summerfoodoregon.org/.)  57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year.  Portland Parks & Recreation supports families by offering nutritious meals and recreational activities during the summer recess. The Summer Playgrounds & Lunch program is accompanied by sports, games, crafts and family activities, including PP&R’s mobile rock climbing wall.


Multnomah County Summer Reading

Multnomah County Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program begins Friday, June 17, when kids of all ages can sign up at any neighborhood library. For more information, click here.

This year’s program gets underway with a big change for young readers and their families. Effective June 15, 2016, the library will no longer charge late fines for youth materials or for cardholders younger than 18. The library will forgive existing youth late fines. Replacement fees remain in place for all unreturned materials.

The library’s Summer Reading program entices kids to read for pleasure when school is not in session, maintaining the skills developed during the school year and encouraging lifelong library use. Last year, approximately 110,000 babies, kids and teens participated.

This year, over 85,000 students have already signed up through school. The library partners with seven Multnomah County school districts: Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland Public and Reynolds. Working with schools enables the library to reach students across Multnomah County and reinforce the fact that summer reading is critical for school success.

The program is open to kids of all ages, from birth to high school students entering grade 12. Anyone who has not signed up through school may do so at any neighborhood library beginning June 17. This year’s theme is wellness, sports and fitness.

Upon sign-up, participants (or their parents) receive a gameboard customized for their age group: birth–preschool (also available in Spanish), grades K–6 or grades 7–12. Participants then engage in any number of literacy-building activities and track their progress on their gameboards. Activities include reading, being read to, listening to audiobooks, attending a library event or writing about their favorite way to get moving.                                                                                                              

As they complete levels on their gameboards, participants earn books, free passes, restaurant coupons and other prizes. Everyone who signs up for Summer Reading is eligible for one free ticket each to a Portland Thorns, Timbers 2 (T2), Portland Pickles, and a Trail Blazers game (with purchase of adult ticket). Everyone who completes the game receives a Summer Reading T-shirt and is entered to win the grand prize drawing of a family vacation for four to Great Wolf Lodge.


YMCA Summer Day Camps

YMCA of Columbia-Willamette with day camps include field trips, songs and skits as well as activities like swimming.

Programs are offered for campers entering first through eighth grades, ages five to 14 at more than 20 locations throughout the Portland and Vancouver area. If you register online for summer day camp, there is no registration fee. Financial assistance is available for low-income families. Visit here for more information.


Boys & Girls Clubs Summer Camps

In addition to regular drop-in programming, kids who belong to the Boys & Girls Club can attend specialized summer day camps with topics including arts, sports leagues & fitness, science, exploration, leadership and more.

All youth must be registered members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Areain order to attend camps and member programming.

A Boys & Girls Club membership is $25 per year. To join, click here.

Camps are open to all youth entering grades 1-12 in Fall 2016.

Morning Camps are offered at all Club sites from 9 am – 12 pm for $55-$75 per week.
Afternoon Camps are offered at limited Club sites from 1 pm – 3:30 pm for $40-$60 per week.

For more information on summer programs, visit here.


Are there other summer programs we missed? Feel free to tell us more in the comments. 

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