School may be out for the summer, but New Haven wants to make sure children are still learning and staying safe.
On Tuesday, city officials and students sported green shirts and backpacks filled with supplies to kick off a new program called the New Haven Backpack Ambassadors.
They spoke with parents at a beach to let them know about the activities the city offers to keep students safe and engaged.
"The goal is to inform parents ‘look they're doing extremely well because parents were engaged in their education, parents read with them,'" said Danny Diaz, a parent engagement coordinator.
Inside the backpacks was a packet of information that included summer reading lists, camps, library hours and other resources and tips for parents.
“A lot of parents, single parents, need their children to go to a day camp,” said William Cretella, a grandparent. “This is a blessing."
Cretella said he'll pass the information on to 6-year-old Lorenzo's mother. The recent kindergarten graduate received a free book from the group.
“We want parents involved [in] what's happening with their kids [and] knowing what they need to do to help their kids prepare and summer is a time for that,” said superintendent Garth Harries.
While there are plenty of supervised activities for the little ones, the city said it will also be employing about 700 older students throughout the summer.
"An engaged kid is a kid active in what they're doing,” Harries said. “They're not on the streets, they're not falling between the cracks and looking for trouble."
The program will hit Lighthouse Point Park all this week before branching out into other neighborhoods next week.
Check out the brochures they were handing out here.
More information about New Haven Public Schools can be found on its website here.
For more on the cities parental involvement initiatives, click here.
Details about youth programs can be found here.
The New Haven Parks & Recreation Department's information can be found here.
For more on the Youth at Work program, click here.
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