Miami-Dade County

Children's Trust Announces New Initiative as Summer Camp Season Kicks Off

The nonprofit will invest $14 million to help low-income families with housing assistance, transportation, and a range of initiatives to promote family welfare.

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So now that school’s out, what are your kids doing for summer?

One option is one of the 300 camps sponsored by the Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade County. 30,000 kids are already taking part in a variety of programs, from STEM to art to sports camps, and some of which include aloof those elements.

“It’s that time of year,” said James Haj, CEO of the Children’s Trust. “School ended last week, all the parents are looking for summer camps, looking for a place that children can be safe and secure and be in a nurturing environment.”

Kids of all ages do all kinds of activities in the camps, including, crucially, a strong academic component.

“There’s a combination of fun, we do not want kids to sit behind a desk for eight hours, but there is an ability to have fun and provide some of the academic support to bring them up to par so when they start next year, they start off on the right foot,” Haj said. “All Children’s Trust programs have a certified teacher on-site, now we’re even enhancing it, the school system is inserting 300-plus teachers into our camps.”

One of those teachers is Amaya Vega, who is working this summer at the Fit Kids camp.

“Well especially after covid, a lot of time was lost because they are at home," Vega said. "And summer, it’s known that students lose the knowledge and stuff during summer because they take a break, so having programs like this where they read, the teacher reads, they get to play and learn, they also don’t know they’re learning so it makes it fun and it keeps their brains moving."

Just as summer camp season takes off, the Children’s Trust also announced it will invest $14 million to help low-income families with housing assistance, transportation, and a range of initiatives to promote family welfare.

“I definitely appreciate the fact that I gained the help because not only was it good for me, it was good for my son,” said Joanyah Saintus, who was holding her three-year-old son as she spoke at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Her little boy is too young for summer camps, but because of the Children’s Trust sponsorship, the camps are either no cost or low cost for parents. Vanessa Zapata has two kids in the Fit Kids camp.

“I think it’s amazing for the kids that they have fun and they are also studying so that way they don’t forget, since summer is three months,” Zapata said.

It’s not too late to enroll your child. Many of the camps still have vacancies; to find out which ones have room, call 211 in Miami-Dade County to reach the Children’s Trust.

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