YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that summer day camps and programs can happen this year, but there are restrictions.
School cancellations have inconvenienced many parents and as summer vacation approaches, what will the COVID-19 pandemic mean for summer programs?
“We’re accommodating for those working parents,” said Jermaine McAlpine, with Boys & Girls Club Youngstown. “We know that they’re going to be heading back to work.”
Boys & Girls Club will be offering both in-person and virtual camps. However, the in-person camps will be first come, first served because the organization has to allow for social distancing and cleaning.
“We want to make sure we’re providing a safe, positive environment for those kids,” McAlpine said.
The United Way’s Success By Six is a four-week program that introduces kindergarten-age kids to their new school buildings. Each participating school is putting together a plan on how to help incoming students.
“This was really a chance without the big kids there, without all the other teachers and principals and all that intimidating stuff, for those little ones to be there to really get them acclimated to what it’s like in that big building,” said Roxann Sebest, with the United Way.
The Jewish Community Center has been operating under the pandemic childcare license already. Executive director Michael Rawl said it’s prepared them for summer camp season.
“Our number one priority is that we care for some very vulnerable populations here and we try to recognize that it isn’t really normal.”
Rawl said they don’t anticipate any restrictions on who is allowed to come to camp.
“We’ve had virtually zero cancellations from the 150-something people that had signed up previous to the stay-at-home order, meaning that all of those people, in my mind, are waiting because they want to come to camp.”