School’s out for summer! While many families in our community look forward to this time of year some families see this as a time where the safety net drops from underneath their children. Schools provide a safe place for children to be during the business hours of the day when most parents are unavailable. They are also a reliable source for one to two daily meals for many of Columbus’ children. The extra pairs of eyes and helping hands provided by teachers and staff aid in the growth of our city’s youth. Many families find themselves adrift without this support, often relying on already burdened neighbors or older siblings.
To combat summer’s dangers, Mayor Ginther and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department have introduced “School’s Out”. The “School’s Out” program aims to provide safe spaces for over 51,000 youth throughout the afternoons and long summers evenings. One of the greatest concerns of all parents is keeping their children safe and productive during the summer months. Various organizations, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center included, are responding to this need by offering programing and events during summer.
When we focus on summer safety we, as a community, need not only to think of physical safety but we must look at student’s emotional health as well. While we look forward to the long summer days and balmy nights, others are driven outdoors for long periods of time by heat induced discomfort. Students will spend more and more unsupervised and unstructured time in unsafe spaces and away from the safety of home and school. This results in a statistical increase in dangerous behavior that can simply be curbed by giving them something to do and somewhere safe to spend their time.
Luckily, the Grange Insurance Audubon Center is here to help! This summer, we’re looking to engage the children of Columbus with the natural world and earth science. Start by joining us this Thursday from 5pm to 9pm at our Summer Solstice celebration! We’ll be offering hikes, outdoor yoga, crafts, and s’mores as we welcome the summer season. But the fun doesn’t stop there—the Scioto Audubon Metro Park is changing every day in this green part of the year, so come on by and experience Columbus’ backyard for yourself! After all, even if school is out, learning isn’t!