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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

With District summer programs budget slashed, DC SCORES free camps even more important

Tubman soccer camp.
As the school year winds down in the District, there is the usual palpable excitement that comes with kids being granted freedom from the classroom.

There is also, unfortunately, a bit of unease as to what the hundreds of students will be doing during the hot summer months.

DC SCORES annually runs three FREE soccer and arts camps for more than 200 students whose families can’t afford traditional programs. However, we need help funding these camps.

Any donation through our Couch to Camp campaign will help us keep kids active and in a positive environment.

There is an alarming paucity of free camps like ours, which will be even worse this summer. In an effort to close a $188 million budget shortfall, the DC City Council has cut summer programs. Because of this, an estimated 15,000 students won’t have anything to do, according to an NPR story.

That is when students get into trouble. And even if they’re staying off the streets, sitting at home isn’t a healthy alternative. During the summer months, kids gain weight three times as quickly as they do during the school year, contributing to the childhood obesity crisis.

"In the absence of anything positive, how can we be surprised if young people choose to be engaged in negative activity?" said Ram Uppuluri, the head of the D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates. "It's not good for young people to be without structured meaningful, educational activities."

DC SCORES strives to serve as many students during the summer as possible. We’ll even host kids at our camps who aren’t among our poet-athletes during the school year.

With such a critical lack of opportunities available to students, please help keep our popular summer programs running. Donate today.

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