LINC, the Local Investment Commission, is providing fun and enriching activities through its annual summer camp program.

Summer school might be ending in about a week, but that does not mean area children and families do not have other options for the rest of summer vacation.

LINC, the Local Investment Commission, is providing fun and enriching activities through its annual summer camp program. Brent Schondelmeyer, communications director for LINC, said the program is designed to pick up where summer school leaves off, offered during the weeks when district summer school is not in session. LINC also provides a before-and-after summer school program, which supports the school district’s school curriculum during the school year.

“Working parents need safe places for their children to have fun, learn and grow, and be cared for by trained staff, all year round – not just during the school year,” he said. “LINC summer programs provide fun, enriching activities for school-age children in several school districts.”

Although LINC has offered summer camps in the Independence, Grandview, Hickman Mills and Center school districts as well as several charter schools in Kansas City for several years, this will be the first year the organization will sponsor a program in the Fort Osage School District. In the past, Fort Discovery, the district’s before and after school program, ran a program during the summer. Because of budget cuts, however, the program will end with the last day of summer school.

“LINC has provided child, family and neighborhood supportive services through its Caring Communities initiative to Fort Osage School District families since 1992,” Schondelmeyer said. “LINC is pleased to be able to serve Fort Osage parents’ need for high-quality care for their children this summer.”

The program will be in the Fort Osage School District from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday July 6 to Aug. 6 at Cler-Mont Elementary. The registration fee is $10.
In Independence, the summer program is from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 12 to 30 at Nowlin Middle School. The registration is $25 for new students.

The weekly fees for both programs are based on school lunch status. For example, if a student qualifies for a free school lunch, that student will also qualify for free summer camp tuition. Students on reduced lunch status are $5 per week, and students who do not qualify for a free or reduced lunch will have a $15 weekly fee.

Registration is still available in both Fort Osage and Independence.

Activities during the summer camps include cooking; cup stacking; physical education activities such as balls, jump rope and parachutes; a variety of indoor and outdoor sports; science experiments; music; theater and units in communication arts and reading.

Tracy Luna, a LINC site coordinator in Fort Osage, said the LINC summer camp is not like the traditional classroom.

“This opportunity is great for our families because there are a limited number of places to send kids once summer school is over,” she said. “This is a safe place for the kids to go and have fun at the same time. It is nice that Fort Osage will be able to participate for the first time this year.”

Luna said she enjoys that the summer program will give her and other LINC coordinators the opportunity to interact with families throughout the summer as they would during the regular school year.

“I like that the program allows us to meet new families in the community as well as get to know our parents and children face-to-face,” she said. “The summer program gives us the chance for people in the community to make that connection between LINC and Caring Communities, which is great. We are so blessed to be able to do this for our kids.”