The School District of Philadelphia is considering cutting athletic, art, music and after school programs. Programs like these are important for the development of children although the school district might not think they are.
If you would like to have your child participating in programs, don’t despair! They can still gain valuable experience from these programs through the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Recreation. The hours for these programs might fit better into your family’s schedule as well.
The Department of Recreation has been around unofficially since 1911 and officially since 1951. They have a lengthy history of serving the public at either no cost or minimal cost.
There are a couple of hundred of recreation centers that operate in every area of the city and offer a wide variety of services and programs.
Many offer pre-school programs, after school programs and even host 12 Step meetings in the evenings.
During the summer there are camps that run from July 5th through to August 15th. There are also specialized camps such as athletic camps, performing art camps and art camps. They are by special admissions and you can research the different types by going to their website at: www.phila.gov/recreations/camps/Camps.html. The one overnight camp is Camp William Penn.
The after school program is great, but be warned that they usually end a month and a half before the school year does.
The activities that are offered are also very diverse. There’s everything from aerobics to martial arts to yoga. The activities run both at night and on the weekends. However, not every recreation center has all the activities that are listed. To find individual recreation centers and/or activities, please visit their website: www.phila.gov/findrec/FindRecrationArea.aspx.
The Department of Recreation also runs the Dell Music Center which is an outdoor entertainment center. Over the years they have sponsored concerts with performers like Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, the Delfonics and the late Teena Marie. Although they encourage you to buy tickets, it’s been a long standing tradition to take a blanket or lawn chair and listen to the music outside the Dell. Tickets are pricey, $300.00 for the season.
The department also oversees the Carousel House which offers programs such as social dances, carnivals and track meets as well as a day camp for people with special needs. For more information about their programs, you can visit their website at: www.carouselhousepa.com.