For students, the end of the school year signals long days and no homework. For parents, it can mean added stress of juggling their children’s daily activities with ongoing work commitments, which don’t have the benefit of a summer recess. Fortunately, there are many organizations around Collier County that provide summertime resources. Also, summer is a great time for students of all ages to level up their reading without the structure of a classroom. For any recent high school graduates who hadn’t yet finished their FAFSA, there’s still time for that, too.
Collier County Summer Camps and Activities
Two good options to begin with are Collier County Parks & Recreation and the Collier County Public Library. There are a variety of activities available for kids of all ages through Parks & Recreation. Bearing in mind that summer is already underway, and some programs may be full, there are still openings as the summer goes along. To preview their activities, visit their website. The Collier County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program began on June 3, but there’s still plenty of time to participate! Running through July 29, kids, teens, and adults can participate by picking up a reading card at any of the 10 library locations. The more you read, the more chances you have to win weekly prizes. Accessing the Collier County Public Library Academy opens up a world of interesting and useful resources, like e-books, articles, and magazines, as well as educational livestreams, arts and crafts tips, and more. And visit their events calendar for a broad range of community events like story hours, tons of kid-friendly arts, crafts, and STEM activities, and opportunities for the whole family.
Organizations Supporting Kids and Families
Keep an eye on the calendar at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, better known locally as CMON. Individual events that happen regularly include Member Appreciation Mondays, Mini Buddhas Kids Yoga, and their reoccurring Exceptional Nights, when the museum specifically welcomes children with physical and/or neurological disabilities, Autism, and other sensory integration disorders.. Their popular weekly camps sell out quickly, but you can call them at (239) 260-1600 to ask about availability or how to sign up for the wait list. Every day, at the museum, visitors can also enjoy regular story times and pop-up activities, and visit their website for at-home activity tips.
Organizations that dedicate their time and resources to serving students in after-school programs during the academic year become safe places for kids to go during the summer. For example, the Boys & Girls Club of Collier hosts a summer camp from June 5 through July 28. Camp is held Monday through Friday, and parents may drop off their kids as early as 7:30am with pick-ups until 6pm. To learn more and ask about availability of scholarships, call (239) 325-1700 to reach the Nichols Club in Naples or (239) 675-7003 for the Bolch Club in Immokalee.
Family- and kid-friendly activities and resources of all kinds are offered throughout Collier County. Learn more about the summer camps hosted by the YMCA of Collier County by visiting their website. Did you know that the Naples Zoo is free for all Collier County residents on the first Saturday of the month? The Zoo also holds camp events and encourages you to contact them for more information. For children ages 5 to 17 who need specialized help due to significant losses in their lives, learn more about the Avow Kids programs.
Getting Ready for School
Summer should be about fun and games, but it’s also a great time to catch up on preparation for the school year to come. For example, Collier County Public Schools offer a CCPS Classics reading challenge. Participants can earn rewards for reading three books from the reading lists, which are organized by grade levels. Their Summer Learning webpage also has information about grade-level appropriate activities for students in pre-kindergarten through rising 5th graders. And parents should take the time to confirm their students’ online school registration, which can be done entirely through the CCPS website and is designed to make the process as easy and quick as possible, without having to visit CCPS administrative offices.
For those graduates committed to or considering some kind of college, university, or other post-secondary education in the next school year, it’s essential to finish the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Usually called by its acronym, the FAFSA is an online application for financial aid. While FAFSA applications for the following school year open up in October, and early submission is encouraged, students can still apply in the summer.
Future Ready Collier’s membership network, which consists of over 60 community partners, is there to aid students and families at all times of the year. While the network’s primary goals relate to students’ academic progression and success, it is true and important that children both need and deserve enriching, supportive, and engaging activities outside of the classroom, as well. To learn more about Future Ready Collier, to get involved, or to ask a question, please email email@example.com.