Parents want more structured summer for kids

TUSCALOOSA, Ala (WIAT) — For most kids, the start of summer vacation is just a few days away, and they’ll no doubt be looking for activities to keep themselves busy. WIAT 42 News has some great options for parents in Tuscaloosa, where one church has pulled together over a dozen community agencTies. Their goal? o make summer have a purpose.

“Hey-ahh,” yells a group of kids in white and black martial arts Gi’s.

The kids are learning to punch and kick, and it doesn’t involve pressing A and B on a game controller. The moms watching the martial arts demonstration are impressed.

“He’s a gamer!” says LaToya McKinstry of her son. “So, he plays video games all day. I’m guilty of letting him. But to get him outside and get active, yeah!”

From martial arts and swimming, to internet safety and free and low-cost summer programs, parents and kids got the full scoop Wednesday night at the Mount Pilgrim Community Outreach Center.

“We’re holding a summer academy from June 9th through July 18th from 8 a.m. to 5:30 each day,” says Leslie Dancer of the outreach center. “We will have academics during the morning and enrichment during the afternoon. We’re offering lunch and snack with that.”

It’s a program that sounds fantastic to many moms.

“I want him to keep up his education,” says Sheree Pettway. She enrolled her son in the academy. “He’s an all A student. And I want that to continue so he has to read books.”

That is the theme with most parents. No longer are summer months for lounging in front of the TV. Today they want structure for their children.

“We try to find good resources for our kids to do during the summer, instead of just sitting in the house and getting in trouble,” says McKinistry. “And also it keeps them academically focused for the next year. So it’s really helpful.”

A few other low cost summer activities available for parents and kids are free movie nights every Tuesday and Thursday at the Cobb Theatre and dollar days at Bryant Museum.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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