(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Bowser and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) celebrated the kickoff of summer programming initiatives and investments, including the first day of summer camp, the start of the summer meals program, the beginning of weekday outdoor pool operations for the summer, and the launch of summer.dc.gov, a comprehensive list of free or low-cost activities for young people.
“With the start of summer, that means the start of fun, engaging opportunities for our youth at camp, at a summer job, at the pool, at their library, and so much more,” said Mayor Bowser. “We know how critical it is to keep young people engaged during the summer, and we also know that it is a community-wide effort. I’m grateful that our team at DPR has made it a priority to expand camp options, to host more activities at our pools and rec centers, and to create safe spaces for kids and teens to play and learn in all eight wards. Let’s have a safe, fun summer.”
This summer, DPR is providing over 12,000 camp opportunities to DC residents with in-person offerings, including swimming, specialty sports, culinary, therapeutic recreation, and traditional camps. In addition, DPR Boost Camps are offering accelerated learning with school-based camps and new unique camps like robotics, journalism, and more for District youth ages 11-13. Boost Camp opportunities are still available; to register, visit dprboostcamps.splashthat.com.
Families can also visit summer.dc.gov or text SUMMER to 69866 for a list of activities across the District for residents ages 18 and younger. This one-stop-shop features a calendar of events, community-based resources, and nonprofit organizations that provide young people with services and programming to help keep them engaged.
With camp in session, DPR also officially began its DC Youth Meals program. This year, the District launched a new youth meals partnership with SodexoMagic, a joint food venture with Magic Johnson Enterprises, to provide two meals per day to 106 sites — either breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack — offered at no-cost to all youths ages 18 and under.
“We are committed to delivering the highest quality food and services to the people of Washington D.C., and we look forward to sharing the ‘Magic’ with these communities,” said Selena Cuffe, president of SodexoMagic.
As the largest sponsor of meals in the District, DPR provides meals for DC children with support from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). DPR will be providing meals at 53 recreation centers and 53 other partner sites under DPR's sponsorship. Additionally, DC Central Kitchen will be providing mobile meals at eight DPR Outdoor Pools. Meals are available from June 28 – August 27. For more information on available meal sites and times, visit dpr.dc.gov/youthmeals.
“Securing a new meal partner means an appealing new menu for residents and we are thrilled to team up with SodexoMagic to provide access to balanced and nutritious meals to the members of our communities who may otherwise go without,” said DPR Director Delano Hunter.
Additionally, the DCPS DC Youth Meals Program will begin on July 5, 2022. Through this program, DC youth 18 and under may receive free breakfast and lunch meals at multiple DCPS sites throughout the summer. Families should visit bit.ly/summermealsatdcps for summer locations and menus. DCPS emergency meal site services ended in June.
Starting this past Monday, DPR’s outdoor pools are now open six days a week. For the operating hours of each pool, visit dpr.dc.gov/outdoorpools.