For Immediate Release: 6/19/2018 11:22 am
The City of Worcester will facilitate numerous free and affordable youth programs during the summer months of school vacation. In addition, the City will also offer youth employment opportunities as well as youth leadership/mentorship initiatives.
"We're committed to providing our youth with quality summer activities that help develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills in a positive and safe environment," said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr.
Summer Youth Opportunities:
The Division of Youth Opportunities will be running Recreation Worcester again this summer for six weeks with a focus on teamwork, sports, arts and fun learning delivered by local youth workers and community partners. Youth ages 7-13 will have multiple activities to choose from guided by the Recreation Worcester staff team at 10 parks (two in each district). Families can register for this free program online at www.worcesterma.gov/recreation-worcester. The program operates Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from July 5 to August 16. The program also includes free lunch and dinner for registered participants. Below are the 10 park sites:
The Worcester Public Library 2018 Summer Reading Program "Libraries Rock!" is already underway. Participants can earn prizes by logging their reading time online. The community reading goal is one million minutes! All ages are invited to register for summer reading at www.mywpl.org or at any library/branch location including the main library or the Goddard, Burncoat, Roosevelt, Great Brook Valley, Tatnuck Magnet, Frances Perkins branches. The summer reading program will include: music lessons, live performances and other music-related activities.
Music Makers for Tots: Wednesdays, June 13, 20, 27 and August 1 from 10 - 11 a.m., ages 1.5 - 3. Participants are also eligible for prizes for reading and participating in the programs.
CactusHead Puppets presents, The Bremen Town Musicians: Friday, June 22 at 2 p.m.
Dance Workshops for Kids & Teens: Tuesdays, June 19 and July 3, 17 & 31; ages 6 - 10 at 6 p.m., and ages 11 - 17 at 7 p.m.
For questions about these programs, please call the main library at 508-799-1655.
The Worcester Police Department will again operate the G.A.N.G. Camp in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. The camp is for ages 8 - 15 at $10 per week. Young people may be referred to the program by the Worcester Public Schools or through the WPD. Boys & Girls Club members can sign up at the club.
The PAAL Basketball League run by the Police Department is another opportunity for free athletics this summer. The program is open to all at/high-risk youths ages 14 - 18. For questions about these programs please call the Police Department at 508-799-8600.
The Department of Public Works and Parks is hosting many free and paid programming opportunities in the City of Worcester parks this summer.
A free opportunity that is new this year is an Open Recreation program from July 2 - August 17 (Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). This will provide an opportunity for youths who cannot attend the Recreation Worcester program or any of the other program offerings to have open recreation time at city parks. In addition, the City is continuing a full, free aquatics program this summer at the following parks:
Swim lessons at Crompton Park Pool will be provided for the first time with a nominal fee on the following dates:
The City of Worcester Parks and Recreation Division will also be co-hosting the Massachusetts Youth Soccer GOALS Program this summer. The GOALS Program was developed to provide a rewarding athletic and life experience to inner-city children throughout Massachusetts. Participants develop lasting friendships, learn leadership skills, teamwork, trust, self-confidence and a sense of commitment all while playing in a fun and competitive environment. The GOALS Program is also designed to provide young players with role models to serve as positive and motivating influences in their lives. Massachusetts Youth Soccer hires and trains college students, many of whom are studying to become teachers or counselors, to coach the players. Please register for this free program using the online registration portal on the City of Worcester website under Parks & Recreation Program/Activities. The program is being offered at the following parks:
The Skyhawks Sports Academy provides sports programs where children discover and develop athletic skills and social values, such as teamwork, respect and sportsmanship.
On the Mark Archery Program is another Parks program that is a fun way to meet new people and discover archery in an engaging environment. Creative lesson plans modernize this traditional sport and keep things exciting with different techniques embedded into skill building mini games and friendly competitions. All equipment is provided. The dates for this program are Thursdays, August 2, 9, 16, 23 at Green Hill Park Athletic Fields from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The cost for this program is $90 and interested youth may register online through the City of Worcester Parks & Recreation online portal.
The Department of Public Works & Parks is also hosting a STEM Engineering with LEGOs summer program. The program will take place at Green Hill Park and have two sessions:
Additionally, through a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the following is a list of programs offered at City parks available to residents:
For questions about Parks and Recreation programs, please call 508-799-1190.
The City of Worcester also has a significant number of job opportunities and training programs for youth this summer.
The Summer Youth Symposium (facilitated by the Office of Youth Opportunities) is a partnership between Worcester Community Action Council, Workforce Investment Board, the State Treasury Department and the YouthConnect Coalition for the purpose of training more than 400 summer workers this summer on June 25. This training is a collective effort with many partners to ensure that youth are well supervised with talented, educated and well-trained staff. Training will include social emotional learning, financial literacy, CPR, First Aid and much more.
The City of Worcester offers many opportunities for young people to obtain employment at various levels, from supervisory to staff. There are more than 200 positions available this summer.
YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program that helps teens and young adults get the skills and experience needed to find and keep jobs. Participants engage in paid short-term work experiences at public, private and non-profit worksites. This program is offered through the Worcester Community Action Council and applicants must reside in the City of Worcester, be between the ages of 14 and 21 and fit the state mandated low-income/at-risk criteria. This program hires approximately 300 youths.
Overall, the City of Worcester will have approximately 500 positions for youth this summer.
Transportation to get to and from work can often be a challenge for youth so the City is launching an initiative called the "W." The "W" is a transportation program with the WRTA where youth between the ages of 9-24 will have access to a FREE bus pass from June 18 to August 17. All 500 youth workers and staff will be encouraged to obtain a pass if needed, including participants of the programs.
The City of Worcester will also offer leadership opportunities for youth this summer. Recreation Worcester has a councilor-in-training program for youth that have aged out of the Recreation Worcester program. This training program runs simultaneously with the regular summer program to provide extra mentorship programming that includes resume building, job training and financial literacy. This program serves 25 youth between the ages of 14-15 and helps create a pipeline for youth to become future staff.
In addition, with the Chamber of Commerce, YouthWorks, and Workforce Investment Board partnerships, the Office of Youth Opportunities leads a Worcester Youth Leadership Institute for six weeks in the summer serving 25 participants. The Institute engages youth throughout the City for the purpose of leadership development, networking and learning about the different aspects of multiple career options.