Summer is an important time of year for many families. Kids are out of school and many are left at home while their parents continue to work. Though summer camps are an option, many of them can be quite pricey. However, there are other options for summer youth activities for low income families in many different places.
One summer youth activity that may benefit low income families is summer youth employment, such as that provided by the King County Work Training Program's Youth Employment division. The program, based in Seattle, Wash., had over 570 temporary youth employees in 2010. Participants in similar programs are often paid competitive wages, such as $8.55 per hour, for 150 hour internships. Look into your local Department of Community and Human Services to learn about available youth employment opportunities for the summer.
Low or No Income Family Programs
There are many different programs throughout the year geared toward low or no income families. One such summer program is the church-funded Joining Hands Mission in Holiday, Fla. The Joining Hands Mission is a summer camp for local kids from kindergarten to fifth grade whose families are homeless or in tough financial situations. The camp is a full day program, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for one full week during the summer. The camp is free and offers snacks, lunch and a wide variety of arts, crafts and special events. Camps like the Joining Hands Mission can be found in many areas of the country; just check your local government's website for information on low income family programs.
Low Income Sports Leagues
Many different sports organizations have summer activities for youth from low income families. One good example of these organizations is Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities. Set up by Major League Baseball, RBI serves over 100,000 low income youth in America every summer. In 2010, RBI launched a new program for younger children ages 5 to 12, focused on teaching life skills and the basics of baseball. For older youth, competitive leagues exist in almost every major city in the United States. RBI even has a SMART Moves program designed to increase drug and alcohol awareness and resistance in inner city youth.
Youth Sports Camps
The Young Men's Christian Association has been offering affordable summer camps for youth for many years. Camps for kids ages 5 to 12 include a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, dance lessons, board games, swimming and team sports classes. Some of the team sports offered during the summer include soccer, baseball, basketball and flag football. The cost for nonmembers is $165 per month, and members pay $120 per month. The YMCA summer camp program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact your local YMCA to learn more.