Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration and Rep. Adrian Madaro celebrated the kickoff of the annual Summer Nights Program in partnership with the Department of Conservation and This year, the Administration increased funding for the program to $2.5 million from $1 million, after beginning the program with $213,000 in 2015 after taking office.
The Summer Night’s program will partner with over 70 organizations this summer to offer free programming in East Boston, Beverly, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Methuen, Milton, New Bedford, Quincy, Randolph, Stoughton, Springfield, Taunton, and Worcester.
“Since 2015, the Summer Nights Program has ensured many teens and young adults have had the opportunity to participate in free, active programming offered in their community in a safe and social environment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration has worked hard to partner with organizations, municipalities, and public safety agencies to provide Massachusetts youth with enriching programming that will impact teens beyond the summer months.”
The Summer Nights Program will run through August 20, 2022, and will offer activities such as basketball skills, drills and tournaments, volleyball, yoga, dance, martial arts, flag football, corn-hole, fishing, ping-pong, cardio boxing, swimming, cooking, painting, zumba, dodgeball, tennis and nature exploration.
Programming also includes sessions on leadership skill building, health and wellness, poetry, academic tutoring, storytelling, animation, music, media production, and career and college readiness programs.
In Eastie, the Veronica Robles Cultural Center in the old Meridian Street Library will be offering multi-disciplinary performances, workshops, and art activities by and for youth as part of their Teens Arts and Entrepreneurship Night series. The program will be held on Fridays from 6:00pm-10:00pm and runs now through August 19. For more information visit www.veronicaroblesculturalcenter.org.
“I’m pleased to see the Summer Nights program come to our neighborhood this year with the inclusion of Eastie’s own Veronica Robles Cultural Center!” said Rep. Madaro. “Summer Nights is an exciting initiative that engages youth and families in activities throughout the summer months, and I look forward to the neighborhood coming out for this year’s event!”
DCR partners with municipalities, organizations, public safety agencies, and others through grants to established urban youth engagement programs that are both free and safe in urban areas during the summer season.
“DCR is excited for another year of the Summer Nights Program, because we can see the impact it has on the young people that participate each summer,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Doug Rice. “This program not only provides a fun and safe environment for kids in urban areas to get outside, it offers the opportunity to socialize and learn new things, demonstrating the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to urban youth and community building.”
The Summer Nights Program was created to provide young people ages 13-21 in urban areas with the opportunity to participate in recreational and educational activities during the evening hours in a safe environment. During the last eight years, the program has expanded from just four partners when it launched in 2015 to 74 partners today.
“We started the Summer Nights Program with just a handful of partners and locations, and now through our collaboration with organizations, we have successfully expanded it to include over 1,000 events throughout six weeks during the summer season,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Importantly, the program engages youth by building their confidence and introducing them to educational resources and recreational activities to become successful, well-rounded adults.”