By Shawn Spencer
Summer vacation: even before school finally let out for the summer, anticipation was building. What a fun time to be a kid! Eating the cereal of your choice while you watch cartoons? What a way to start the day! I remember breaking out my favorite purple/white Dolphin shorts, lacing up my roller skates and with a towel over my shoulder and $1.25 in my sock, I skated up to the pool for a day of swimming and snow cones. No parental guidance necessary. The pool had lifeguards and I knew what time I had to be home. There is very little doubt that the 70s was a wonderful time to be a kid.
Fast forward to 2022. Insert lots of parental guidance and the need for structure. Summer camps aren’t what they used to be. They are mostly daycare oriented with some excursions. They also cost a small fortune. That’s if you can even secure your offspring a spot. Chances are your child is already bored. Maybe they’re watching too much TV or playing too many video games. Times are tough right now, for many. Gas prices are high, but so is the cost of food. There are a lot of families that may not be able to eke out the funds to cover summer programs.
Leave it to our wonderful city to produce a great solution! The City of Monrovia has partnered with the Monrovia Parks, Wilderness and Recreation Foundation to offer scholarships to children, ages 17 and under, who live in Monrovia and/or attend Monrovia schools.
Each family is eligible for up to $500 per year, with a cap of $250 per child. The scholarship(s) apply to all Monrovia-sponsored programs. Some exceptions may apply. For more information or to apply, the Youth Scholarship Application can be found on the city’s website under recreation.
I wish Monrovia had a public pool for summer swimming. I’m not sure what happened to open swim at Monrovia High School, and the swimming lessons they had at one point. If anyone wants to buy up some land and build a local pool (with locker rooms, a snack bar and a game room), for the community’s enjoyment, that would be great! That sounds like one development that everyone in Monrovia would support.
I’m also hoping the city spends some time researching the feasibility of installing a splash pad at one of our parks. I’m not sure if that would be an appropriate course to take during a drought, but splash pads recirculate water, so there is very little waste. With that being said, any contaminants that are being rinsed off your child will rinse down into the holding tank to be sprayed again on your or other children. And just like that, I have talked myself out of hoping Monrovia gets a splash pad because that sounds potentially disgusting. Maybe just let your little ones run through your sprinklers every fourth day for 15 minutes. Keep your contaminates — I mean children — in your own yard.
Please take a moment to read the summer edition of Monrovia Today. If you don’t receive it via the USPS, you can pick one up at the Community Center or online at cityofmonrovia.org. Get your kids signed up for some of our wonderful programs. Take advantage of the scholarship if financial hardship is the only thing holding you back.
I am always amazed at how much kids forget during the summer if they are too idle. Please keep your children reading! It’s not too late to sign your child up for the Summer Reading Program. Be sure to get your child a Passport Bookmark so they receive a special prize! A child who reads will be an adult who thinks! We could certainly use more of those!