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Summer programming aims to debunk idea of nothing to do in Toledo, offers something unique for everyone

"I wish I would've had a program. Something like this where I could learn these skills at an early age," said Tisha Mays.

TOLEDO, Ohio — "Whether it is a job, an activity, a sport, or an enrichment, there will be an opportunity for every kid this year that wants to do that," Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.

On Wednesday, he said people tend to think there's nothing for kids to do come summer in Toledo.

But the city is working to change that, as Kapszukiewicz unveiled the city's summer programming during his state of the city speech and he says it caters to every child.  

This year's summer programming will be offering everything from sports to a broadcasting camp. 

It's a way to keep kids busy and out of trouble. 

"We've already appropriated funding to make sure that the kids of this city have productive and healthy things to do this year," said Kapszukiewicz. 

Toledo is using more than $2 million from the American Rescue Plan so no kid can say there's nothing to do. 

"They really are in the neighborhoods already and we just want to help them do what they do better and to spread out their ability to reach more kids and geographically to reach out into pockets of the community that perhaps haven't been reached," said Karen Ranney Wolkins, who is the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of Toledo. 

Last year there were about 44 community partners.

This year, the city is going bigger and bringing in around 100.

And that means camps for everything from podcasting to music, arts, dance, and more.

"Amaysing Kids is a reading literacy program that excites kids about reading through teaching broadcasting fundamentals. So kids learn radio, podcasting. Television, sound engineering, vlogging," said Tisha Mays, the Founder of  Amaysing Kids. 

They say the opportunities are endless. 

And with about 95% of them free, there's little room for an excuse not to be involved.

Organizers say the idea is to keep kids busy and learning, so they don't have time to get into trouble. 

"We know that this can be very positive and productive to engage our young people in something that's health and growth-producing and life-giving. As opposed to some of the alternatives to that," said Ranney Wolkins.

 As a mother of four, Mays says programming now will help mold future generations. 

Allowing them to already develop the skills to make their dreams come true. 

"I wish I would've had a program, something like this where I could learn these skills at an early age and even meet media professionals. The people that I see on TV. I could be that broadcaster,'" said Mays.

The city says it will be distributing Summer Program Guides with the help of some of the schools. 

Plus they'll be placed at the local libraries and the list is already online. 

You can find the list here if you'd like to go ahead and plan out your summer.


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