City, organizations collaborate to create ‘Summer 16’

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Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Schools

Mayor William Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the United Way’s Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time recently launched “Summer 16 Dream! Explore! Do!”, a youth-centered campaign for summer activities.

“Summer 16 Dream! Explore! Do!” provides thousands of local children, grades K-12, with fun learning activities. The goal of “Summer 16” is to engage at least 16,000 youth throughout the city and county in meaningful summer learning opportunities.

“Summer is a time for our local students to have fun with friends, share new experiences and create memories that can last a lifetime,” said Mayor Peduto. “It is also a time to broaden interests, develop new skills and build confidence. ‘Summer 16’ is the first collaborative effort around summer learning. The City of Pittsburgh will partner on a number of initiatives including Learn and Earn, our summer youth employment initiative; GrubUp, our summer meals program; and a number of other camps that will take place in our Citiparks programing.”

The “Summer 16” website includes a checklist for parents, an activities calendar and a centralized repository of summer programs to ensure that all children have a safe, healthy and productive summer. The website also enables parents and youth of all ages to request information on no cost and fee-based activities in the region this summer.

“Learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school year, and there are more and more opportunities available each and every year for children of all ages in our community,” said County Executive Fitzgerald. “The ‘Summer 16’ program provides access to everything going on in our community, for parents and youth alike. Whether you’re looking for a summer job, or are interested in biking, cultural activities, a camp, or nature activities, we have something for everyone. ”

“Summer 16” partners hope to boost academic performance, promote physical health and provide a safe, structured environment for youth through meaningful summer learning programing. Research shows that participation in summer activities can improve classroom behavior, school attendance, academic aspirations and reduce the summer learning slide.

“Many local agencies and partners have come together and are committed to making this program a reality,” said Bob Nelkin, CEO, United Way of Southwestern PA. “Our goal is to help local children develop into successful adults by providing them with quality opportunities that help them develop both academically and emotionally. We are proud to work together—with our community partners—to provide fun, learning opportunities for all of our city’s children.”

In addition to the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and United Way’s Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST), ‘Summer 16’ partners include: Allies for Children, A+ Schools, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Citiparks, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Remake Learning Network, The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, Saturday Light Brigade, The Sprout Fund, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and other organizations that provide programming to youth.

The ‘Summer 16’ collaboration falls directly in line with recommendations from Mayor Peduto’s Education Task Force. The 2015 report identified the need for collaboration between the City and Pittsburgh Public Schools and out-school time providers in order to increase access and demonstrate the importance of out-of school time activities.

About “Summer 16: Dream! Explore! Do!” – Summer 16 Dream! Explore! Do! is a youth-centered campaign for summer activities. Summer16 will provide thousands of local children, grades K-12, with fun, educational learning activities. The goal is to get 16,000 children and youth in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County connected to summer learning opportunities. Children and parents can search for summer programs that fit their interests and needs by visiting: pghsummer16.pittsburghpa.gov.

About United Way of Southwestern PA – United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, serving Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong counties, leads and mobilizes the caring power of individuals, the business community and organizations to help local people in need measurably improve their lives. United Way creates long-lasting change for the betterment of our community.

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