As summer approaches, families will have a central place to find activities in Genesee County
Imagine a place where families in Genesee County could find an information center for student summer activities. It would be a one-stop-shop for locating camps, dance classes, and various other activities with dates, times, target age group, and registration information.
Imagine no more, says Julia Rogers, Community Schools Coordinator. The Partnership Working Group – a collective offshoot of the Community Schools Program – worked last summer to develop a list of priorities for the Community Schools Advisory Council. A key goal was to respond to what would help break down barriers for children and families, Rogers says.
“So as part of that work, it came to light that we really needed a timeline for that, for families to see what was out there so they could engage and see the opportunities that were in the community,” she said in an interview. friday with The Batavian.
The initiative started by reaching out to “everyone we could think of,” Rogers said, and casting a wide net to catch as many local camps as possible. Families still had to go to all the different sites – GLOW YMCA, Business Education Alliance, City of Batavia for a few examples – and without solid direction as to where to go, they may have missed a registration deadline for a summer camp, she says.
“So that was one of the things on the advisory board that they thought would really help,” she said. “There is no main accommodation location for all camps to list for parents to have easy access. So the partnership working group looked at it and we started building it and contacting everyone we could think of who had summer camps. There has never been one in my life.
The calendar contains all relevant information and a link to go directly to the organization for registration and class details. It’s about reducing the steps parents have had to take in the past, she said, and will have a broader and more inclusive offering of the myriad of activities taking place in the county.
Once families started to respond to the idea of the summer calendar, the working group expanded it to include year-round activities, like GO ART’s Creative Camp for the summer holidays. April, which for city students begins on Monday.
“So we expanded it before we could even let it be known that it will be for every day of the year,” Rogers said.
Not only will this information center help families in their future planning, but it can also help organizations plan events by allowing them to have an overview of what is happening throughout the year, she said. So if July seems particularly packed with camps, an agency may choose to plan something for August or some other time of year when not as much is happening.
She urges parents not to print the calendar, as it is a fluid document that is constantly changing with updates of added events. The task force will eventually do a needs assessment to see if all the bases are covered or if there’s still something students and families would like, she said.
“We want to know what we can do to help kids succeed,” she said. “And we’re working with the health department on their community needs assessment.”
Community schools are already planning an upcoming event to help meet the financial, physical, social, mental and emotional needs of families in the city’s school district. A wellness fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30 at the Robert Morris Building at Union Street and Richmond Avenue. More information will be provided as details are confirmed, Rogers said.
For more information on the schedule, go to: https://www.bataviacsd.org/page/community-schools-home-page
For questions or additions to the schedule, email Rogers at: [email protected]
Photo: Partnership Task Force members Kelly March from Richmond Memorial Library, Julia Rogers from Community Schools and Jaylene Smith-Kilner from Habitat for Humanity are gearing up for the summer with a new online calendar of activities. Other unrepresented members are Bill Schutt of the Genesee-Orleans Youth Bureau, Shellye Dale-Hall of GCASA and Charitie Bruning of the YMCA. Photo submitted by Batavia City School District.