Looking for a summer activity for your middle school student? Sign up now—before June 30—for one of the city's free enrichment programsjust announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week.
Eligible students are between the ages of 11–13. Programs begin the first week of July and go through Aug. 22 and are designed to support children of working families. Most run from 9 am to 6 pm, although hours vary. Daily activities include time for reading, writing and STEM (science, math and technology) as well as theater, music, creative arts and sports. Kids take trips around the city and explore different communities. There are programs in all five boroughs, housed at schools or community organizations. Find a list of programs and sites here (PDF).
For more information and to sign up, go to the city's Department of Youth and Community Development website: www.nyc.gov/dycd. The enrollment deadline is June 30.
In addition to urging parents to take advantage of the city's summer programs, de Blasio announced a huge expansion of afterschool programs in middle schools set to begin in September, working in tandem with 108 community organizations.
"Middle school is a tumultuous time for teenagers, and we need to ensure we are giving them the resources to support their development beyond the school day," said de Blasio at a press conference announcing the expansion. "Whether it's finding a passion in art, playing sports, or getting extra time to focus on academics our students are struggling with, afterschool programs are critical to our young people's educational experience."
Middle school students will have access to after-school programs in 562 schools for the 2014–2015 school year, representing 85 percent of the city's middle schools. That's more than twice as many as the 231 offered this year. Community organizations will oversee the afterschool programs, which will be open five days a week for 36 weeks.
For more ideas of what your middle-schooler can do over the summer or during the school year, Insideschools has compiled a list of many free and low-cost enrichment activities. See our Free Programs section. Search for programs by topic: math, science, arts, humanities and academic prep.