Commentary By Ellen London: Saving Children’s Summer Programs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Commentary By Ellen London: Saving Children’s Summer Programs

Play associated audio

Walk into Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute on any given afternoon and you will find a little army of Kung Fu fighters practicing kicks, blocks, squats and some pretty impressive precise moves. Wearing black pants and shirts with golden sashes, these young people are taking part in a free program offered to DC youth after school and in the summer. Over six weeks in the summer, the Kung Fu camp offers meditation, warm-up drills and stretching, lion and dragon dance, synchronized drumming, Chinese language lessons twice a week and fun Friday field trips and in the process, the students learn about focus, concentration and sound decision-making.

Over the past 10 years, the nonprofit DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation has provided more than $30 million in funding, much of it from city dollars, for programs like Hung Tao Choy Mei serving as many as 10,000 low-income children a year. But this summer, with budgets tight, many programs, including the Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute, did not receive funding they need.

Without summer programs many children in neighborhoods of high poverty will face risks and setbacks. For some of our kids summer vacation rarely brings exciting, fun-filled days or memorable experiences. Too often, it’s a precarious time with few opportunities for physical activity, academic and cultural enrichment, creative exploration, or even proper nutrition.

The benefits of summer programs have been well-documented. Summer programs are proven to help fight summer learning loss by engaging youth and keeping their minds active. For older kids, many summer programs provide volunteer opportunities and teach valuable job skills, laying the ground work for future success. These youth development programs also provide basic needs such as healthy meals and quality adult supervision during a time of year when parents find it difficult to do so.

I’d like to challenge local, regional or national businesses to help make summer the memorable, fun season it should be for D.C. kids. This is going to be a challenging summer for many young people who need our assistance.

NPR

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.