BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Summer vacation is underway for thousands of kids across the viewing area. Nearly 200 East Baton Rouge students who wouldn't normally have anywhere to go, are spending it having some fun and getting ready for the next grade.
Math, language arts, and even a little dance - it's East Baton Rouge Parish Schools' summer enrichment program for homeless students.
"We have a lot of students that's living with parents...they're considered homeless. Also, if they're doubled up living with another family. We have a lot that came from shelters...that's living in hotels, motels. And a lot of people, they aren't aware but we had over 1,000 students identified as homeless this school year," said the district's coordinator of homeless programs, Jodi Lemon.
Lemon says the four-week, academic-based camp is not just for kids without permanent housing. She and her staff are there to make sure the 145 kindergarten through fifth graders from all walks of life keep stimulating their minds.
"Some kids regress over the summer. I'm just here to help them kind of remember what they were taught over the school year so they won't forget, and so they can be ready next year," said Tanme Jones, a district kindergarten teacher.
Along with the lessons, the students do get to have some fun. Several field trips are planned for the summer, as well as classes like dance to get their creative juices flowing.
"A lot of these kids may not have the opportunity to pursuit these careers or hobbies, so here they can dance free, have fun and learn different styles of dance," said Winter McCray, a dance teacher.
While the kids are having fun learning new moves, lemon says their parents are breathing a little easier knowing they have a place to hang out this summer.
"They have to try to afford something that they can't afford, or leave the children home by themselves because they're trying to go to work. So, most of them are just happy and saying 'Thank you because I have some place to bring my kids,'" said Lemon.
McKinley Middle Magnet School, where the enrichment program is this year, is one of several schools where kids can go for free breakfast and lunch through the summer months.
EBR Schools Child Nutrition Program Summer Feeding Program
Open to All Children Aged 0—18
Elementary Schools: Breakfast served 8:00 a.m.—9:00 a.m.; Lunch served 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.
- Jefferson Terrace
- University Terrace
- Howell Park
- Magnolia Woods
- Park Forest
- Sharon Hills
- Glen Oaks Park
- Southern Lab
Middle Schools: Breakfast served 7:00 a.m.—8:00 a.m.; Lunch served 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.
- Staring Education Center
High Schools: Breakfast served 7:00 a.m.—8:00 a.m.; Lunch served 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.
No forms or registration necessary.
Breakfast and Lunch are served Free of Charge.
For more information contact Child Nutrition Program at 225‐226‐3768.