The COVID-19 pandemic has kept many children in Eastie isolated for months. Now with the summer here and some restrictions being eased during the state’s phased reopening plan local youths are starting to have more time outdoors thanks to summer youth programs.
Earlier this month, the City of Boston announced a unique in-person day programming opportunity for youth in Eastie.
The program, a partnership between BCYF and Crossroads, a youth development organization, has been underway since July 13 and will run through August 14.
According to BCYF Commissioner William Morales, the program is committed to offering an alternative to virtual summer activities. Crossroads and BCYF have teamed up at community centers in Eastie and elsewhere in Boston to offer weeklong daytime programming.
“Thanks to our partnership with Crossroads, we are able to offer more fun and engaging summer programs while following important new regulations and procedures,” said Morales. “This program is a great addition to our other summer offerings and the children are loving it.”
Morales said the Crossroads/BCYF programs follow all COVID-19 regulations to ensure a safe and innovative solution to the reduction in summer programming as a result of the pandemic. These programs provide young people ages 7-12 with access to vital social networks and opportunities to grow and learn, families with an option for their children to be engaged out of the home, and youth with summer jobs.
Each session is five days long, taking place Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. and is limited to 50 youth, with group sizes no larger than 10.
“As it became increasingly clear that running our overnight camps simply would not be feasible this summer, we began to reimagine how Crossroads might be part of the solution to meaningfully engage children from Boston who have spent the past four months in isolation, struggling with the loss of their social and educational systems,” said President of Crossroads Simon Hess. “If we couldn’t bring kids to our camps, why not bring Crossroads programs to children in their own communities? After being connected to BCYF, it became clear that we shared a common objective – providing high quality programs to children and families who were looking for options beyond computer screens this summer.”
Crossroads is a youth development organization founded in 1936 with the mission of empowering young people to unlock their potential and positively impact the world. Crossroads offers year-round programming to 1,100 children and teens from greater Boston and Brockton, including day programs and overnight summer camps at Crossroads sites in Duxbury (Camp Wing), Brewster (Camp Mitton), and Ashby (Camp Lapham).