Summer Magic 2021
Interview with Kimberly Lilly, Program Coordinator, Newaygo County Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
Hello Kim, tell us about what is happening with Summer Magic this year.
Summer Magic will be back at sites this year! Summer Magic is a day program experience for children. We have three site locations where children can participate: Fremont Lake Park, Henning Park in Newaygo and Mill Pond Pavilion in White Cloud.
Summer Magic happens Monday through Thursday from June 21st to August 11 (11:30 AM - 5 PM). The cost is $55 (discounted fee paid at registration) or $2 a day for drop-ins. We work hard to keep this cost effective! The cost includes lunch, snacks and all activities. Drop your kids off at 11:30 am and pick them up by 5pm. They will be tired and excited to come back the next day. While we don't have a specific scholarship program, we will look at scholarships upon written request. There is no rain site. If it rains there is no program as determined by site directors.
Summer Magic offers busing from certain locations. We will be busing from Hesperia Elementary to Fremont Lake Park and from Grant Elementary to Newaygo Henning Park as usual. Check out our website for our new daycare and summer school partnerships.
Summer Magic has been ongoing for 26 years! This program ties into our mission by providing positive childhood experiences to buffer adverse childhood experiences. We want to give them positive confirmations to help them feel special, learn about positive social and emotional health, learn lifelong skills, and be able to advocate for themselves. Children matter and there are people who value and care for them. We want them to feel this. This program is open to all children and we work hard to be as inclusive as possible.
Who can attend Summer Magic?
Summer Magic is for children ages 5-12 years old. We also have a teen program for teens 13-16 year-olds. Our teens get to engage in a traveling program where there's a balance between philanthropy, goal setting, life skills and outdoor field trips.
Summer Magic is especially helpful for the 8-12 year-olds who have working parents and no day care. The kids do not have to be home alone and they get some structure, safe supervision, and fun activities. Day care is hard on the older kids, especially in the summer, so this gives them an opportunity to get out.
What can my child expect to do at Summer Magic?
EVERYTHING! We are going to do educational things, but they won’t feel educational! Campers will feel engaged and they will have lots of fun. One way we do this is through STEAM. They will work at building, creating and free thinking. Another way we do this is through literacy. We will have guest readers during lunch and it will work around a weekly theme. Children will also get to look forward to taking home books. Children can look forward to swag bags, learning about nutrition, music, games, arts and crafts, music, swimming and much more. We have so many fun new additions to program this year….instruments, drones, RC cars, juggling, water tables, lawn games and more!
This program is so popular that we already have 100 children signed up before advertising in schools. We anticipate approximately 500 children each summer.
A big focus this year will be “community.” We want to make children feel like they belong in this community, are safe in this community, and learn about what it takes to be a member of a successful community. If you are a community member who would like to come in and share your business, your talent or skill, or even be a guest reader, please go to our website and fill out our volunteer form.
Tell us about your staff.
Our leadership staff is retained by some amazing educators who have been with us for many, many years. They are friendly faces within your school systems that your children can recognize and feel safe as soon as they walk on our site. We have staff who have previously been in our program and have transitioned to employment. We have high school children who are responsible and ready to set a great example. We also partner with some wonderful universities such as Ferris State University to employ social work students.
Our staff spend 2 full days each year preparing to run the program and an additional day for directors. They know how the program runs prior to the first day and it makes such a smooth transition for you and your children. This year, they will also be trained in our COVID protocols as outlined in our preparedness and response plan.
How does someone sign up for Summer Magic?
Families can sign up and pay online. Checks can also be sent through mail or if you are a $2 drop in, you can pay each day at site.
This year, everyone MUST sign up prior to the program. Even if your children are not participating every day, please register them online prior to the first day. This will help us with being able to know how many staff are needed, social distance during check in and check out, and have our directors on site know all they need to know about your children prior to the program.
If you missed the registration deadline of June 11th please email us at email@example.com
Who else helps make Summer Magic special?
Many hands make light work and we would like to thank the below partners for helping with this year’s Summer Magic:
Fremont Area Community Foundation
Mary Anne Charette- Food Service Director
Hesperia and Grant Transportation
Many Generous Community Donors
And last but certainly not least, all our awesome local community collaborators/agencies who come in to present to educate our children.