Six free and safe summer programs for Louisville children

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There are just seven school days until JCPS and more than 100,000 students start their summer vacations. 

And there are some free activities in Louisville designed to keep kids minds at work and the community safe. 

"There is no reason for a child to say 'I am bored,'" said Louisville councilwoman Mary Woolridge.

Louisville leaders packed a library in Shively on Monday to highlight dozens of safe and free summer activities for kids.

Metro United Way sponsored a day camp at several area churches. All Louisville free public libraries branches will host a summer literacy program called "Reading is Magical."

JCPS crafted a "Literacy &" program, designed to prevent the summer brain drain and help students catch up before the new school year.

And local community centers will extend hours and focus on new activities outside. 

"There's an emphasis on baseball, expanding to tee ball," a Metro Parks official said. "A youth triathlon ... so we're trying a lot of different things."

And the cultural pass returns, allowing students 16 and under free entry to popular attractions like the Louisville Slugger or Kentucky Derby Museums and the Kentucky Science Center. 

TARC will also offer a special $30 summer youth pass. It grants anyone 6-19 unlimited rides from 6/1-8/31.

"When you're thinking there's nothing to do here, check out all these activities we have," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Louisville struggles with juvenile crime, and the problem was magnified recently when two teens arrested for a shooting at the Pegasus Parade

"When kids have less structure during the day, the likelihood of other behaviors increases," said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. "I am concerned, and I think whoever else you talk to is concerned as well." 

The city Safe and Healthy Neighborhood's department has a summer violence prevent effort, which includes field days at Waterfront Park. 

"How do we get in the game, get involved, reach these kids in a Victory Park or a Beecher Terrace who we have not been in their space before?" Abdur-Rahman said.

The challenge for this and every other program is getting kids to participate. 

Here are links to some programs provided this summer:

Louisville Free Public Library

Louisville Metro Parks

Summer Literacy Boost

Find a Summer Job

Building Louisville’s Out-of-School Time Coordinated System

Summer Youth TARC Pass

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