Plenty to do this summer
City's recreation classes are filling up fast
It would be hard for Mountain View youth to complain about having nothing to do this summer. From claymation to culinary camp to mommy-and-me belly dancing, a wealth of summer activities is available for kids, and registration is already underway.
"Parents are understanding the importance of keeping their children active," said Kim Castro, youth resources manager for the city. She acknowledged that limited summer school opportunities are also pushing families toward recreation for their kids.
"Everybody's registering right now," she said. "The earlier families get registered, the more opportunities there are for them."
In an effort to reach new families, a number of community organizations hosted a summer activity fair earlier this month. Two hundred and fifty people attended.
"Everybody ran out of materials," Castro said.
"We wanted to provide families with an opportunity to learn how to get registered," she said. "It seems to be a barrier for families every year — the process, or they wait until really late in the season.
And for Mountain View, "late" means the end of May.
"By then we're fully subscribed, and many of our financial aid resources have been accessed as well," Castro said. Last year, she said, the city provided $130,000 to help 300 needy families sign their children up for summer activities.
In terms of programming, the city is ramping up several youth and family services to accommodate for demand.
"We increased the summer family movie series this year," Castro said. "Because of the success it had last year we wanted to provide more opportunities for families to do things together with no cost attached."
The city is selling low-cost family pool permits, usable during recreation hours at Eagle and Rengstorff pools.
She said The House, formerly known as the Teen Center, would be open six days a week, as opposed to three. Since opening last year under a new name, The House has become a popular after-school and weekend hang-out for middle school aged students.
For teens 13 to 15 looking to gain leadership skills and volunteer experience, the city is recruiting for its Leaders in Training program through April 30. Young teens work alongside aquatics and recreation staff at youth camps, Deer Hollow Farm or local pools.
"If kids are not active during the summer then we worry they would find negative behaviors to get involved in, and we want them involved in positive activities," Castro said. "We want them to stay healthy over the summer and stay engaged with peers and positive adult role models."
She added that many families at the activities fair were looking for ways to keep their kids engaged in academics.
The Mountain View Public Library is again offering summer reading programming, where children and teenagers set reading goals and keep track of their progress. Signups for the program called "Make a Splash READ!" begin June 8. Grade-appropriate reading lists are also available for families.
Preschoolers can participate in music concerts at Pioneer Park on Tuesdays beginning June 15. For kindergarten through fifth grade students, the library will offer creative programming like puppet theater, visits from live reptiles as well as a "mad science" show.
Other community organizations offering summer activities include the local YMCA and the Community Health Awareness Council.
E-mail Kelsey Mesher at email@example.com
To request program or registration information, contact:
City of Mountain View, Recreation Division
Drop-off or walk-in registration at the Community Center
201 S. Rengstorff Ave.
Mountain View Public Library
585 Franklin St.
El Camino YMCA
2400 Grant Rd., Mountain View
Community Health Awareness Council
711 Church St., Mountain View