Free summer programs for Wichita youth

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Public pools across Wichita opened this week except for McAdams Park. However, the loss has been met with a new program that supports summer aquatics for the area. It includes the distribution of YMCA vouchers for families in the McAdams area.

“What’s been neat is the city has decided on 1,000 people who will get these vouchers,” said Terrell Benton, Wichita YMCA. “The YMCA was blessed to be able to partner with the city, create the voucher for the city, and then disperse that among that McAdams neighborhood for those families that have not received vouchers at this point. They would need to contact the McAdams Recreation Center.”

KSN spoke with Parks and Recreation Director Troy Houtman about the development around the pool vouchers.

“We have a system of identifying kids from that neighborhood, and we have been working with housing as well as YMCA to identify those folks, and we are working on transportation to get to the YMCA so 1,000 kids will have the opportunity to go to the Y,” said Houtman.

In addition to the vouchers, the YMCA has also started late night basketball games, which they say over 500 kids attended this past weekend.

“Statistically, at that time on a Saturday night is the time where kids get into a lot of trouble, and there’s a lot of alternative activities they can be engaged in,” explained Benton. “So, for us to open our doors and have that many kids not engaged in that but engaged in positive health related constructive activities, we find it to be very very positive.”

The Boys and Girls Club is also an organization offering a range of summer programs for Wichita youth.

“We have kids lit, which is a literacy program that the kids get to participate in,” explained Vanessa Rials, Boys and Girls Club Unit Director. “We have science and technology triple play, music and dance, all of these different activities they can choose to partake in.”

In addition, the Boys and Girls Club is hosting free summer lunch programs to children throughout the community.

“Our mission here is to enable our kids, especially those who need us most and part of that is a healthy lifestyle, and we understand the importance of making sure that our kids are provided with a healthy meal when they’re not in school,” said Rials.

If you are a family in the McAdams area and you have not received your pool vouchers to attend the YMCA this summer, you should contact the city. You can either do that by clicking this link or by calling 316-529-9940.

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