Summer break is around the corner and many parents are looking for fun and educational ways their children can stay busy.

Several organizations are putting on summer programs for our community’s youth. You can find a list and contact information for these services on the Chamber’s Blog at wenatchee.org.

The past year-and-a-half has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially challenging for our community’s youth. School has been online, hybrid, then in-person part-time and only recently, in- person with modified schedules. There have been a lot of adaptations our children have had to make. Play dates have been cancelled. Parks have been closed. After school activities and sports have been postponed or cancelled. As we emerge from the pandemic and things begin to open up, this summer is hopefully going to look a little more “normal” for parents and kids.

The community programs offered will help provide safe spaces for children to go while parents are at work. This is incredibly helpful for parents’ and employers’ peace of mind, productivity and ability to hold a consistent schedule. There are a variety of summer camps, daycares, and by the hour activity including programs at fitness centers to keep your kids moving and energy burning.

Summer programs are not just helpful for parents as they continue navigating the challenge of inconsistent scheduling, they are key to student overall mental and physical health and well being.

“We are just beginning to understand the impact the pandemic has had on student learning and emotional health," said Spencer Taylor, Eastmont School District's executive director of elementary education. "Summer programs provide students with opportunities to extend learning and engage in fun activities with peers. Eastmont School District is targeting students who we believe were most impacted by COVID related school changes (online, schedule changes, etc) with some availability for others to apply.” 

In addition to private sector nonprofits and businesses providing programming for youth this summer, both Wenatchee and Eastmont schools have summer programs for all ages. These programs are not just traditional summer school, but also fun-filled experiential learning to help students grow academically over the summer months.

“Undoubtedly extending learning can produce positive outcomes for students. Historically, we have seen growth among our students who have attended WSD summer programs. We are excited that we can now support a greater number of students with our variety of free and engaging summer learning opportunities at all levels.” said Wenatchee Superintendent Paul Gordon.

If you are looking for a great way to keep your child engaged this summer, look no further than our blog post list of resources at wenatchee.org, where you can find information and links to register your child in the program of your choice. Whether it is the schools, the parks, summer camps, fitness centers, tutoring businesses or the museum, you will be able to find a balance of fitness, fun and education in the Valley. Plan for peace of mind this summer and help your student continue to grow by finding the right summer program for them as we continue to navigate work-life balance as employers, employees, parents, and as a community.

Sasha Sleiman is the government affairs director for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 662-2116.