Article: The Families That Can’t Afford Summer

[I recently took on the task of finding something for the boy who brings books on the bus something to do for the summer. I have a reasonable grasp of the options for 8th graders here but wasn’t sure about the 3rd grader-sized summer opportunities. So I started sleuthing. The first several stops on the internet seemed outlandishly expensive or were already full. The YMCA gave me the runaround when I called to ask if there would be a bus from the Y near where we live to the Y camp, essential to his participation since I couldn’t bank on his mom bringing him and I don’t have a car. “Oh you need this person at this extension,” I was told by two different people. “Try his cell phone if he doesn’t pick up,” I was told by a third, though I have yet to be called back by the person who I think has the information. The Aquarium offers scholarships for their $725/week summer program but I waited two weeks for a call to confirm the process. All of my investigations occurred while I was at work, a luxury many working parents cannot afford. Plus, all of the websites and all of my phone calls were in English, a language his mom doesn’t speak. In the end, his teacher wants him to enroll in summer school, a very affordable (includes breakfast and lunch like normal school), month-long program that will have him practice reading and math. I’m happy he’ll have something to do but completely frustrated by my experience dipping my toe in the summer-care waters. And, honestly, I was hoping that his insatiable curiosity could be nutured at something a little different from school because exploring fish or sleeping away from home can be important too. As one mom in the article puts it, we want summer to be “memorable.” Also shoutout to my mom for sharing this article with me 🙂 ]

The Families That Can’t Afford Summer


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