Monday, July 20, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Announces 6th Annual Summer Nights Initiative

Baker-Polito Administration Announces 6th Annual Summer Nights Initiative

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the 2020 Summer Nights Initiative, which will provide urban youth with socially distant programming at Massachusetts state parks and other locations starting on Monday, July 20, 2020 and continuing through Friday, August 21, 2020. The program was first developed by the administration in 2015 and offers urban youth within the Cities of Boston (Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, and Roxbury), Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester with a wide variety of activities that are coordinated by 14 local organizations. These activities include, but are not limited to, basketball and flag football drills, dance, yoga, arts and crafts, martial arts, academic support, cooking, STEM activities, and online programming focusing on entrepreneurship and life skills.

“Our administration is proud to once again support the Summer Nights Initiative, to keep students across the Commonwealth engaged during their summer vacations," said Governor Charlie Baker. "While this year's programming looks a little different due to COVID, we look forward to offering safe educational and recreational activities for kids and students to enjoy at state parks in locations throughout the state."

“The Summer Nights Initiative, now in its sixth year, serves as a great example of our work to ensure access to the state parks system and beyond is made readily available for all,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By working with great local partners we are able to offer inclusive and safe programming to urban youth across the Commonwealth.”

Participating organizations include Score4More (Roxbury); PIM (Hyde Park & Dorchester); Youth Connect (Worcester); NAACP (Remote programming serving Boston youth); Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (Lawrence/Methuen); Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell (Greater Lowell); Dennison Community Center (New Bedford); Devoted Dynasty Entertainment (Roxbury); Lena Park Community Center (Dorchester); Black Ministerial Alliance (Dorchester); Level Ground Martial Arts (Dorchester); Black Men of Greater Springfield (Springfield); Youth Guidance (Remote programming serving Boston youth), and Teach 1 Basketball (East Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury).

“For six years, the Summer Nights Initiative has been providing recreational and educational activities for urban youth to participate in at no cost while school is out for the season,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “This year, diverse programming has been coordinated to offer both present and online activities to engage kids from wherever they are able to participate from.”

“The Summer Nights Initiative offers excellent programming for urban youth to interact with one another in a fun, safe environment,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to work diligently to foster strong partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, such as the Summer Nights Initiative organizations, to achieve goals that directly benefit the public.”

Additionally, this year participating organizations must follow all guidance issued for programming to aid in the prevention of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Guidance includes:

  • All individuals should remain at least six feet apart at all times to the greatest extent possible;

  • All individuals are required to wear face coverings;

  • The managing entity must establish an on-line or on-site registration system prior to commencing program;

  • The programs must separate participants into groups of no more than 12 participants, including coaches and staff; and,

  • The programs should minimize equipment sharing.

In order to attend Summer Nights Initiative programming, participants must register (either through pre-registration online or on-site registration, depending on the framework developed by the organization). For a full list of programming and other information, please visit DCR’s Summer Nights Initiative webpage.

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