The summer sped by quickly and so did our popular
six-week summer program, Verano Alegre.
The program began June 27th and ended August 12th, Monday- Friday 9am to 5pm. Enrollment was 105 and counting the 12-summer employed youth funded by MassHires/Youthworks and the Office of DA Joseph Early, Jr., a total of 117 youth participated. All 117 received breakfast, lunch, and a snack in the afternoon as part of the Summer Eats free meal program.
Donata Martin, a consultant with the Spanish American Center, said some offerings will focus on STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
“We’ll have arts and crafts,” she explained. “We’re going to have storytelling. The kids are going to use their book lists from the summer, and we’re going to try and get the books, have some book clubs and get their reading done. And then we’re going to supplement that with some other readings, some art, some journaling, some more outdoor activities.”
Also being offered this summer will be athletic activities such as basketball, hiking and bicycling, according to Martin.
“The Police Department donated bikes,” she said, “and so next week the junior staff will be learning how to repair and will be repairing the bikes for the summer program, so all the kids will have a chance to ride. And then there are some doctors in the community that have donated helmets, so each one of the children will be able to have their own helmet [and] be able to take those home.”
A big part of the Summer Youth Program, which the Spanish American Center has offered for more than two decades, is free breakfast and lunch — a big help for kids who ordinarily depend on school for one or two meals out of their day.
“They’ll have a nutritious and healthy breakfast, and the same with lunch,” Spanish American Center Executive Director Neddy Latimer said. “Because I don’t believe in sandwiches. It’s hot meals. That’s why we have gotten very popular.”
Below are some photos capturing the children's participation at various events: