Louisville officials offering new texting service with activity - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville officials offering new texting service with activity info for youth

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Parents who are seeking affordable and enriching options to help fill the summer months for their children now have a new tool at their disposal.

By texting the phrase "GetConnected" (without a space) to 967-14 and providing a zip code and the age of the child needing activities, parents will immediately receive a list of upcoming options sorted by distance, according to a news release.

Many of the listings are free or low-cost and all include phone numbers for more details.

Organizations that would like to add events or opportunities should contact Anthony D. Smith, Director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, by email at Anthony.Smith2@louisvilleky.gov.

Ted Smith, chief of the Office of Civic Innovation, said the beauty of this service that it's immediately accessible to parents, wherever they are, in a device that they already have in their hand.

"They can check on their plans for the summer while waiting for their child at a bus stop this week – or walking to their car after work," Smith said.

"Making the information available by both zip code and age makes it much easier to use," Smith added.

Mayor Greg Fischer said the service should help parents feel more empowered to make the best choices they can for their family.

"Earlier this year, I said there was 'no excuse' for children losing everything they learned over the summer. This is a way to help parents fit learning into their schedule in fun ways," he said.

Smith said while the program was summer-based, it will run through August, the month when most parents will be making afternoon after-school plans for the 2014-2015 school year.

"Parents have a lot on their plate," he said. "This will make it that much easier for them to find the right program for their child."

This service works alongside of other city efforts to keep children busy, safe and engaged throughout the summer. On Monday, the "Cultural Pass" program will launch, in which children and students can visit some of the region's greatest cultural organizations for free this summer. The pass is a collaboration between Metro Government and cultural partners to address the importance of arts education in Louisville and admits one child/student (ages 0 through college) to attractions as diverse as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Kentucky Derby Museum to Yew Dell Gardens.

If the child is under the age of 16, one parent or guardian is also admitted. Passes may be picked up at any library branch or community center.

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