The Tallahassee community is making an effort to provide fun for all during the summer.
Tallahassee Parks Operations Manager Cindy Mead says the city’s 75-year-old Summer Playground Program happens at eight parks across town.
“It’s an eight week program, started last week, and the parks are set up by age groups ranging from ages 5 to 17 years old. The cost of the program is 60 dollars per week,” says Mead.
It’s 12 dollars for families who receive public assistance like food stamps and other services from the state.
A high percentage of the kids attending this camp are from low income homes. Transportation to the camp is not provided, but Mead says a lot of the kids walk to the parks and community centers.
Kacy Dennis, Area Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend, shares a similar purpose for its campers.
“To have a fun, safe environment in the summer for their parents to have the opportunity to work and the kids will have the opportunity to decrease that summer learning loss through our academic programs,” Dennis explained.
The Boys and Girls Club also has a high number of children from low-income households. Their summer program largely paid for by sponsorships so kids can attend free of charge.
At both summer programs breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided. The Family Praise and Worship Church provides all meals for the Summer Playground Camp. Leon County Schools provides the meals for the Boys and Girls Club.
Currently, the Summer Playground Program has 750 campers spread out at the parks. Availability varies from park to park. The Boys and Girls Club determines its availability based off sponsorships; however, Dennis said, “The club would never turn a child away.”