June 9, 2020

Albuquerque summer youth programs single parents and working families

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As part of its equity focus, Albuquerque will spend about $1 million for summer meals and summer youth programs to help the underserved, Mayor Tim Keller said during his daily COVID-19 press conference Monday.

The city of Albuquerque is implementing the summer youth program primarily to help single parents and parents who work different shifts, Keller said. The city will also continue its free meals program through the summer.

He said he expects the summer youth programs will help 10,000 families. Many of the summer programs will be led by older teens. He said that 76 percent of the teen workers last year were from communities of color and he expects a similar rate this year. The city has hired about 400 youth.

Keller also announced the city will be hiring youth for the Rapid Accountability Diversion Program, which works to prevent a first-time offender from becoming a life-long criminal. That hiring will begin later this month, Keller said.

Keller called the youth programming “critical,” and “empowering,” and said it will “offer something meaningful in the summer especially if the parents have to work. 

Carol Pierce, director of Family and Community Services, said 775 youth have registered and the ratio will be one adult per five children. The classrooms will be separated.

All youth will be required to wear a mask, Pierce said. If a child lacks one, the city can provide it.

“It’s more challenging in the time of corona,” Keller said.

Swim lessons will start June 15, Pierce said. Tennis lessons begin June 22, she said. Other programs such as Explorer camp are starting soon.

The city’s food service program for children began June 1.  Both breakfast and lunch are available, Keller said.