Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Around the Ozarks, Summer Opportunities Abound for Kids with Working Parents

YMCA campers last summer at Camp Wakonda swimming pool. Photo credit: YMCA website

For those parents with young, active children, summer can be tricky to find activities to burn off that energy. To help out working parents, a few organizations around Springfield offer a variety of kids’ programs all summer long. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.

It might still feel a like winter outside, but the school year is just about over.

There are a few organizations around Springfield that offer summer children’s programs and camps during the weekdays. Parents can pay a fee to have children embark on educational and recreational activities with groups like the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Springfield Public Schools and the Ozarks Regional YMCA.

Ashley French represents the "Y." She says their biggest summer program is YMCA Summer Day Camp.

“That is what we do with the Springfield R-12 School District. Typically at the Y, we will get them swimming. For sure, once or twice a week we try to go to outdoor pools and utilize our indoor pools. We also go skating every Friday, which is one of the kids’ favorite things to do. We’ll go to the zoo. We’ll go to the Nature Center. We’ll do things in the garden; we do a lot of stuff with local foods where kids can get out there and plant and really see things grow and sample a lot of cool foods as well.”

Every week is planned out and has a theme, she says.

The day camp will take place in five different locations: Disney, Horace Mann and Pittman Elementary Schools, and at both YMCAs in Springfield. The program is all day Monday – Friday, and will kick off the week after school gets out (the week of May 20).

Along with partnering with the Y, Springfield Public Schools is offering summer school classes and will again host the SPS Artworks Program, which allows 4th – 8th grade students a chance to get creative in unique art classes. Theresa Bledsoe works in community relations for SPS. 

“They use a lot of visual media, performing arts. There’s candle-making, digital photography, there’s food art, painting, Chinese brush painting…so there are a number of different theme-related classes that are offered to students during that Artworks program.”

All Artworks classes are held June 3 – June 14, and are offered in the morning and afternoon. They are held at Sequiota Elementary School, located in the southeast part of Springfield. You can register for Artworks and summer school classes on the Springfield Public Schools website.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is also offering its annual SPARC summer programs. This year, SPARC will offer a camp for kids who want to learn archery, canoeing, fishing, caving and creek walking at Ritter Springs Park. Also, SPARC offers two programs for older kids ages 11 – 14 where campers can play video games, watch movies and go on extensive field trips like the Lake of the Ozarks and paintball.

For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.