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    (6/12/2013) (New Haven, CT) There is so much to do in New Haven; it’s hard to know where to begin in planning for summer activities for your children. So today, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. was joined by numerous organizations that provide summer programming for children to highlight all youth activities going on in New Haven this summer-many of them free-and inform residents where to go to get further information: on the city’s website.

    “We want to ensure New Haven’s young people-and their parents-are aware of all that is available to them this summer. Much of the programming is free, and provides young people with opportunities for fun, learning and outdoor activities,” said Mayor DeStefano. “We have Open Schools, we have free and low cost summer camps, free passes to zoos, museums and theaters from the library, which also runs the Summer Reading Program that 2,299 children completed last year. There really is a wide range of activities to choose from.”

    A highlight of the event was the 2013 Mayor’s Summer Youth Guide which features programming for New Haven youth of all ages (preschool through young adult); listing over 70 summer youth programs; 33 of them free and many more low-cost. Some of the programs are run by City departments like Parks, Recreation and Trees and the New Haven Free Public Library while others run by non-profit organizations like Solar Youth and LEAP, who were present at the event.

    Solar Youth, a New Haven based youth development organization, provides opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self and connection and commitment to others. Their programs run year-round and incorporate environmental exploration, leadership development and community service.

    During the summer of 2013, Solar Youth will host three programs in order to serve all ages. The Citycology Summer Camp is for children aged 5 to 8 and is led by teenage Youth Educators. The Steward Summer Camp is for children aged 9 to 13, this year's theme is Connecticut Climate and Weather; campers will learn about science through nature and climate exploration. The third program, Green Jobs Summer Service, is being run in partnership with Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH). The Green Jobs Summer Service program is for teens who want to make create positive change in their neighborhood, Westville Manor.

    Other youth from ECC/HANH will be busy participating in many programs and activities through partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club, Camp New Haven and many others.

    Additionally, ECC/HANH will be launching the Summer Training & Employment Program (STEP) for youth between the ages of 16-21 who reside within ECC/HANH developments. The STEP program will give approximately 20 students an opportunity to gain hands on experience in various areas by working within different departments at the ECC/HANH offices. As part of the program, the students will also be required to participate in mandatory workshops to learn about everything from financial literacy to resume preparation.

    "It is important for kids to stay busy when school is out and we are happy to be able to offer so many different opportunities both educational and fun for our kids this summer. I'm also excited about our own STEP program where many students will come to not only work at our offices for six weeks starting July 1st but they will also learn about important topics ranging from financial literacy to job readiness in mandatory workshops we are providing." Karen DuBois-Walton, Executive Director of Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven.

    LEAP provides summer enrichment through our 3 main program areas - the Children's, Youth Development and Community Center Programs.

    The Children's Program provides summer enrichment to children ages 7-12 in four targeted neighborhoods (lower Dixwell, Farnam Courts, Church Street South and Dwight). Run like a day-camp, it includes academics in the morning designed to strengthen their reading, writing and math skills and enrichment activities, including field trips, in the afternoon.

    The Youth Development Program serves youth ages 13-15 and works to develop civically engaged mentors whose academic achievements fully prepare them to succeed in high school and become responsible, informed decision makers. They spend the summer participating in teambuilding and skill building activities designed to make them leaders in their communities.

    The Community Center Program runs out of LEAP's headquarters at 31 Jefferson Street and provides programming to children ages 7-12 from throughout New Haven. The Community Center is a fee based program that provides a safe place where participants learn a specific set of skills such as healthy cooking and computer literacy and have opportunities for social enrichment.

    In addition to LEAP and Solar Youth, there are dozens more summer programs available for New Haven’s young people. They are listed below and can be found on the City’s website here: http://bit.ly/194RaEN

    Mayor’s Summer Youth Guide: This Guide is a great resource features over 70 programs for New Haven youth of all ages. The majority of programs in the Guide are free and many are low-cost. Activities range from sports and outdoor activities like basketball and hiking to theater, film and arts and crafts-there’s even sailing and scuba diving programs! The Mayor’s Summer Youth Guide also includes a convenient listing of dozens of sites across the City that offer the free summer meals program. You can find the Mayor’s Summer Youth Guide online here: http://bit.ly/Y6SdTj

    Camp New Haven is a completely free camp for any New Haven resident between the ages of 8 and 12. Camp New Haven runs July 1-August 2 from 8 am to 5 pm on Monday through Friday (no camp on July 4th). Camp New Haven features swimming, hiking, weekly trips and presentations by expert speakers. Transportation, breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are provided. Applications and medical forms must be completed and submitted by June 14th. For more information about Camp New Haven--and the application forms, click here: http://bit.ly/11lvIG4

    Open Schools: Everyone knows there’s an Open Schools program during the school year, but did you know that nine schools are also open for recreation during the summer? The 2013 summer schedule for Open Schools can be found here: http://bit.ly/19nwfPY

    Daily Events at various New Haven Parks: Events are held at various New Haven parks almost every day of the summer! So be sure to check out the Parks calendar, which can be found at http://bit.ly/118kW5W and come back often for updated events!

    Summer Reading Club: The New Haven Free Public Library has a free Summer Reading Club that runs from June 15 through August 16th. Children who complete the program win prizes and are entered to win a kindle! Last year 2,299 children completed the program! To find out how to sign up, go here: http://bit.ly/11fuj44

    Free activities at the New Haven Free Public Library: The library has wide range of fun activities, including a llama visit, storytelling, Afro-Brazilian dance and creating a community time capsule! View the schedule of events here: http://bit.ly/11fuj44

    Free Passes to Zoos, Museums and Theaters: The New Haven Free Public Library has them for you! For more information, go here: http://bit.ly/18zELZ6

    Splash Pads: For a list of splash pad locations across New Haven, click here: http://bit.ly/11e3Unr

    The New Haven Youth Map: This map, currently in beta mode, lists programming and activities by subject and geographic area and can be found here http://bit.ly/12Pzzwy

    Winchester Revitalization Arts Project (WRAP): Winchester Revitalization Arts Project (WRAP): Live music, spoken word, open mike sessions, art instruction, a mobile City Seed market and more are held in the open space on Winchester Avenue (between Munson and Division Streets) on Wedn

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