COVID-19 has caused disruptions to normal life as we know it across the city, and summer activities are no exception. Things will look different for summer 2020, but there will still be plenty of ways to keep kids and families busy, engaged, safe, and healthy.
Health and safety always come first, now more than ever. The City’s summer planning is still underway and will correspond to regional reopening plans, based on public health guidance. We will update this post frequently as plans are confirmed and we receive new guidance from health authorities.
Each summer, hundreds of small, one-way, residential streets throughout the City temporarily close to vehicle traffic to give children a safe place to pick up a free, nutritious meal. The 50+-year-old Playstreets program is run by Parks & Rec.
This year, Parks & Rec is calling on volunteers to apply to be a Playstreets supervisor. Playstreets Supervisors are residents who live on the street and can be available weekdays to close and open the street as well as distribute summer meals to children and youth.
Recreational activities for youth at Playstreets will align with reopening guidance to prioritize health and safety.
Playstreets will open on a rolling basis starting June 15, and run every weekday through the end of August.
Free food and meal sites for families
The City and its partners will continue to operate grab-and-go meal distribution and food sites during the summer, although some locations and schedules may change. Residents are encouraged to visit phila.gov/food or call 311 to find up-to-date food distribution information.
Spraygrounds and pools
Spraygrounds that can restrict to 25 people and enforce physical distancing will open on July 6 as part of the City’s summer programming.
City-run public pools will not open this summer. Pools will be closed, but we know staying cool is a priority in the summer months. The City is actively working on ways to keep residents cool and safe this summer. Check back for updates on the City’s Summer Cooling Plan.
City summer programs for children and youth
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation summer camps
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Department of Public Health officials are developing plans to offer a modified summer day camp season, should health protocols allow, that would focus on providing safe, accessible places for children to play during weekdays.
Meanwhile, Parks & Recreation is also planning other opportunities for young people if a camp season is not possible this year. More details on safety protocols and summer camp programming will be available in early June. Families who have signed up for Parks & Recreation camps can read the latest update here.
Swim for Life and city-wide theme camps will not operate this summer.
Other City-supported camps
Programming will focus on OST goals of literacy, career awareness, physical, and social/emotional health. Online activities will include read-aloud videos and literacy supports, virtual college and industry tours, dance and martial arts, and mindfulness/meditation practice.
Summer jobs for youth and young adults
WorkReady provides paid summer jobs and work experience for Philadelphia youth 12-24 years old. This year, WorkReady is offering a paid digital experience to thousands of youth, with a focus on recruiting youth in the juvenile justice system and Operation Pinpoint areas.
WorkReady summer digital experiences will be in these categories:
- Digital Career Exposure: learn about various career opportunities leading to the implementation of a career plan.
- Financial Literacy: learn how money is earned, spent, and saved, and how to use financial resources.
- Digital Literacy and Brand Identity: learn how to use, share, and contribute to information through digital technologies.
The deadline to apply is June 30 at WorkReady.org.
In addition, WorkReady at Parks & Recreation expects to hire over 280 youth and young adults ages 16-24 through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s State/Local Internship Program (SLIP), managed by Philadelphia Works and Philadelphia Youth Network.
Youth can learn how to apply for these positions at phila.gov/programs/workready-at-parks-rec
Summer of Wonder
Each year, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder program encourages students to keep reading and help prevent summer learning loss. This year, Summer of Wonder will offer virtual programming from June 1 to August 31. Children, teens, and adults can go online at freelibrary.beanstack.org to earn points and badges for Summer of Wonder activities and time spent reading.
The Free Library is also partnering with local organizations to host pick-up spots for materials and activities. More information on locations coming soon.
Science in the Summer and the Summer Camp Challenge will take place virtually this year.
For more information visit freelibrary.org/summerreading, or you can text a librarian with questions about programs, resources, book recommendations, or reading support:
- Send a text to phone number – 66746 – with the keyword – askfree – followed by a space, then your question.
Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) will continue to support grassroots anti-violence efforts during the summer months through Targeted Community Investment Grants – focused on promoting education and mentorship, addressing health and wellness, sustaining safe neighborhoods, and providing job-related skill-building.
Community Crisis Intervention Program (CCIP) teams will continue working in communities – assisting those in need with alternatives to violence and providing connections to services and supports.
Stay tuned for more summer-safety updates from the Office of Violence Prevention.