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City Looks Toward Summer Youth Programming to Support Hard-Working Families

Yellow status means more spots for youth this summer as City ramps up programs

March 2, 2021

Mayor Tim Keller held a briefing today to talk about how the City has supported working families throughout the pandemic and to give an overview of what people can expect for upcoming summer youth programming. In addition, Mayor Keller gave an update on vaccination efforts.

In the Albuquerque Metro area, over 20% of people over age 16 have been vaccinated and the City has been working to support efforts to get vaccines to as many people as possible. In total, the City’s Emergency Operations Center has supported 21 Points of Dispensation (PODS) with 6302 doses dispensed at those PODS. In March, 13 additional PODS are currently scheduled that will administer an estimated 6,000 more doses.

While vaccination efforts and a community commitment to COVID-safe practices are leading us along the path to fewer restrictions and safer gatherings, working parents and their children continue to be in need of immediate support. Throughout the pandemic, multiple City departments have been providing significant distance learning and youth programming to essential workers who needed a safe, engaging place to send their children. As these programs continue to provide a critical safety net, the City’s Youth Connect team has also been planning for a great summer experience.

When school lets out for the summer, the City ramps up programming to accommodate a surge in families who are looking for opportunities for their children. Although last summer required adjustments due to the pandemic, the 2020 State of the Summer Report highlights the ways the City was able to step up to support working parents and their families. In the Summer of 2020 the City:

  • Offered 42 in-person programs with 59,460 participants in attendance
  • Offered 28 virtual programs with 18,119 participants in attendance
  • Invested $2.3 million dollars in youth wages--hiring 875 youth staff offering 130 internships

“When we’re there for kids, we’re there for families--and speaking as a parent of two kids, after more than a year of Covid cancellations and shutdowns, our families need help. Support for youth has been a priority not even a global pandemic could shake,” said Mayor Keller.

This summer, the City looks forward to welcoming more youth at locations throughout the City for activities hosted by multiple departments. Registration will work similarly to the previous year. Community Centers and Multigenerational Centers will open their lottery process in early May and programs will begin in mid-June. Summer registration for racquet sports, swimming lessons, swim team, explorer camps, and family nature clubs will also begin in early May. The BioPark will be offering a mix of in-person and virtual opportunities. They are in the midst of spring programming but still have remaining slots for virtual Spring Break programs.

“We put a lot of thought and effort into summer programs—from hiring and training staff to planning fun activities—and we are excited to be able to expand the number of youth who participate this year,” said Cristin Chavez-Smith, Division Director for the Department of Family and Community Services. “In the meantime, we will continue to offer virtual learning and childcare for essential workers.”

Youth programs and registration will be available at yc.cabq.gov.

Download slides from today’s presentations.