Summer Planning: Local Resources for Keeping Minds Active in Beverly/Morgan Park 

 By Tina Jenkins Bell 

 

As the academic year draws to a close, families seek ways to keep kids engaged and prepare for summer break. Fortunately, our community offers a variety of opportunities. Local schools extend summer camps, nurturing curiosity through hands-on learning. Parks host outdoor classes, blending nature with education. And community programs weave fun into skill-building activities. These opportunities not only prevent the summer brain drain but also ignite passions and foster friendships. We encourage all our families to utilize our community’s assets to ensure a summer filled with growth and exploration for our children. 

Visit their websites and subscribe to our e-newsletter to get weekly updates on what is happening in the neighborhood and check out any of these resources:  

Chicago Park District begins registration for their Summer Day Camp program across the city online on April 15 & 16 for children ages 6-12 years old. They say “the 6-weeks of summer fun will include sports, arts, fitness, and outdoor activities with the following ideas woven throughout the camp experience: Civic Engagement; Environmental Awareness; Inclusion; Collaboration & Team Building; Brain Play; Reflection & Journaling; Friendship & Kindness.”  

Our local Chicago Public Library branches offer events throughout the year for all and the summer is no different. From Summer Learning Challenges that encourage reading and exploration to various workshops and events ranging from STEM activities to arts and crafts, all while catering to diverse interests and age groups.     

Our area schools, including Brother Rice, Chicago High School of Agriculture, Marist, Morgan Park Academy, Mother McAuley, Mt. Carmel, St. Rita and St. Xavier offer summer programming for tweens and summer academics for youth transitioning from elementary to high school. For more information, visit their websites.  

Beverly Arts Center has released their summer programming guide including their Summer Arts Camp equipped with 4 different sessions to accommodate a diverse summer experience for every child between the ages of 5-14.  

Road Less Traveled (RTL) This organization raised a lot of interest among the “tweens and teens” in BAPA’s Teen Service Corps after conducting a virtual presentation in March. RTL’s mission is to offer service-oriented, travel adventures that provoke personal growth, self-empowerment, and an expanded lens of other communities and cultures from across the globe. This summer, the group offers more than 20 excursions for teens (15-18) though some include tweens (ages 12-14) as well. Youth have their pick of trips within the United States but also Africa, Canada, Central or South America, and Europe. Scholarships are available, and families whose child or children are interested should schedule a talk with RTL’s director via email at infor@theroadlesstraveled.com or phone 773-342-5200. For more information, visit https://www.theroadlesstraveled.com.   

If your teen wants to work for the summer, there are plenty of youth engagement opportunities, including jobs and internships throughout the city of Chicago and with our local business owners. Visit our website’s education page for information on City of Chicago resources gathered by the 19th ward Community Connections Committee.  

Finger Snaps – This is the section of the paper where we want to highlight the many achievements happening in the neighborhood in the last month. 

Congratulations to Morgan Park High School’s (MPHS) Boys and Lady Mustangs bowling teams. Both teams recaptured the Public League crowns, winning the city championships this past season.  

Marist High School celebrated its second annual Celebration of Culture, organized by LaToya Hayes, Marist’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A student inspired event, Celebration of Culture highlights the different cultures and ethnicities comprising Marist’ student body and features cultural displays, food samplings, and performances. Said Jake Tinoco, a senior and Chicago resident, “Marist’s celebration of culture night is a way for our student body to honor and explore each other’s differences in a way that’s both respectful and fun. From sharing food, to music, and even traditions, culture night boasts a wide representation of the cultures that our many students celebrate and hold dear to them.”  

Join BAPA in congratulating Dr. Angela Tucker, Esmond Elementary School principal for being one out of 4 from a pool of 100 nominated principals or heads of schools to become a Golden Apple Leadership finalist. We’ve profiled her in this edition of the Villager. Read what she had to share about this accomplishment.   

If your school is doing something special and you want to be acknowledged in our “finger snaps” area, let us know by emailing bapa@bapa.org. Enjoy the April sunshine and we hope to see you all at Clean & Green! 

 

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