Summer activities for children planned at the Spanish American Center

LEOMINSTER — From arts and crafts to cycling and hiking, the Hispanic American Center is gearing up for a summer of programming for local kids.

The Summer Fun program for kids ages 5-13 begins Monday, June 27 and ends Friday, August 12 at the Spanish American Center, 112 Spruce St.

Donata Martin, a consultant at the Spanish American Center, said some offerings will focus on STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“We will have arts and crafts,” she explained. “We are going to have a narration. The kids are going to use their summer book lists, and we’re going to try to get the books, organize book clubs and get them to read. And then we’ll supplement that with other reading, art, journaling, other outdoor activities.

Sports activities such as basketball, hiking and biking will also be offered this summer, according to Martin.

“The police department has donated bikes,” she said, “and so next week the junior staff will learn to fix and will fix the bikes for the summer program, so all the kids have the chance to ride. And then there are doctors in the community who have donated helmets, so each of the children will be able to have their own helmet [and] to be able to take them home.

A big part of the summer youth program, which the Hispanic American Center has offered for more than two decades, is free breakfast and lunch – a big help for kids who usually depend on school for a or two meals a day.

“They will have a nutritious and healthy breakfast, and the same with lunch,” said Hispanic American Center executive director Neddy Latimer. “Because I don’t believe in sandwiches. It’s hot food. This is why we have become very popular.

This year’s summer program can give kids the chance to keep busy over the summer holidays and learn some of the skills they missed when schools went virtual in the early months of the pandemic. of COVID-19.

“The kids are still catching up,” Martin said. “Some of the socialization that they didn’t have because they were isolated, [they have to] work on that, with the kids now around each other. Remedial education, enrichment, sport and outings because they were into it a lot. Being able to do all of that is really important.

Additionally, Latimer said, the program teaches children and teens about inclusion and diversity.

“Everyone is welcome to come to our program,” she said. “Kissing is so important for children to learn.”

The Summer Youth Program also provides some local teenagers with their first job as junior monitors, thanks to grants from various agencies.

“They will work with the program instructors,” Martin said. “They will learn how to run a program. They will learn all about behavior management and de-escalation. They’ll learn a bit more about mental health issues and how to work with the clinician that we have, and they’ll have a great time.

Spanish American Center programs run weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for ages 5 to 7 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for ages 8 to 13.

Additional activities for children of all ages will be offered from Tuesday July 5th at several other locations in Leominster: Allencrest Apartments on Viscoloid Avenue, Fournier Park on Litchfield Street, Riverside Village Apartments on State Street and Silver Leaf Terrace on Litchfield Street.

Applications for the Youth Summer Program will be available at the Summer Launch at the Hispanic American Center on Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and slushies – plus games, music, raffles and COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer.

“Everyone is invited,” Latimer said.

The Summer Kickoff and Summer Youth Program are sponsored by the Health Equity Partnership of North Central Massachusetts (CHNA-9), the Leominster Cultural Council, and United Way of North Central Massachusetts.

For more information, call the Hispanic American Center at (978) 534-3145.

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