By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
Many recreation centers and communities in Lansing are creating summer programs for children in the area to enjoy their days with their peers.
Not only are summer programs just a fun time for kids, but according to sociologists, summer programs are important for kids help kids elish skills and behaviors that stick with them throughout their lives.
Michigan State University sociology Professor Pamela Smith says that summer programs help kids form relationships with people of all ages, as well as become punctual, learn skills that may help them get a job in the future, and most importantly give them a sense of community that empowers them to be positive.
Children’s summer programs in are in abundance in Lansing, with programs that range from gang resistance programs to sports teams.
The YMCA of Lansing is one of the many places where kids of all ages are welcomed and allowed to choose from a variety of sports programs or day camps to participate in during the week.
“My kids love coming to day camp at the Y”, said Tajuana Whitehead, mother of two. “They get to make new friends as well as catch up with a lot of some of their old friends. It also keeps them out of trouble and gives them something productive to do during the day, where they are having so much fun that they don’t realize they’re learning too.”
As well as the YMCA, there are many other summer programs that children in Lansing can be involved in. The City of Lansing Parks and Recreation is the best resource for parents who are looking to get their children into activities this summer.
“We are open Monday through Friday and have lists of activities going on in the Greater Lansing area for children of all ages,” said Brett Kaschinske from the Parks and Recreation Department. “We can give information based on the types of programs that families may be interested in, and direct them on who and where to go to in order to sign up.”
Free summer programs for children include the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T) Program, through the Lansing Police Department, which hosts a variety of fun, social, character building activities throughout the Lansing area during the summer months.
Many other affordable summer sports and activities are still available for families to register, and can be found by contacting the City of Lansing Parks and Recreation.