Coming to Echo Park this summer: kids, lots of them

A school district building boom and a drop in enrollment means that many formerly overcrowded Echo Park area campuses, such as Belmont High School and Logan Elementary, have or are about to drop their year-around schedule and return to a traditional semester calendar. That means that all those students will now be taking their summer break all at once instead of in shifts – a big adjustment for their parents and other folks who work with kids.

In recent summers, only about 20 students who were out on break spent the day at Central City Action Committee, a nonprofit that provides activities for kids and young people. This summer, however, Central City, which operates out of a former firehouse in Angeleno Heights, will have to find day-time activities to keep as many as 60 kids busy, said executive director Maryanne Hayashi. “We will have to be creative in addressing their needs,” she said.

Central City has secured additional funds to pay kids to work on some projects but Hayashi wonders how they will be able to transport and supervise the bigger groups of kids on field trips and overnight camp outs. With the Los Angeles school district eliminating Summer School for elementary and middle schools and the city’s Recreation and Parks Department facing budget cuts, all those extra kids out of class this summer will need something to do, she said.

“You are just going to have to accommodate all these kids who are going to be streets on the summer.”

Photo by PBGoS via Flickr

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