Tuesday June 3, 2014
Service launched to help parents fill summer months
with affordable options
Parents who are seeking affordable and enriching options to help fill the summer months for their children now have a new tool at their disposal.
By texting the phrase “GetConnected” – no space – to 967-14 and providing two details – a zip code and the age of the child needing activities – parents will immediately receive a list of upcoming options sorted by distance. Many of the listings are free or low cost and all include phone numbers for more details.
For example, if you ask for activities for an 11 year old living in the 40202 zip code, you will find more than 80 options ranging from summer reading programs at the library to full week camps. Organizations that would like to add events or opportunities should contact Anthony D. Smith, Director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, by email: Anthony.Smith2@louisvilleky.gov.
Ted Smith, chief of the Office of Civic Innovation, said the beauty of this service that it’s immediately accessible to parents, wherever they are, in a device that they already have in their hand. “They can check on their plans for the summer while waiting for their child at a bus stop this week – or walking to their car after work,” Smith said. “Making the information available by both zipcode and age makes it much easier to use.”
Mayor Greg Fischer said the service should help parents feel more empowered to make the best choices they can for their family. “Earlier this year, I said there was ‘no excuse’ for children losing everything they learned over the summer. This is a way to help parents fit learning into their schedule in fun ways.”
Anthony Smith said while the program was summer-based, it will run through August, the month when most parents will be making afternoon after-school plans for the 2014-2015 school year. “Parents have a lot on their plate – this will make it that much easier for them to find the right program for their child,” he said.
Louisville-based cellphone engagement company, Marlimar Mobile Strategies, built the Louisville Community Calendar text-based inquiry technology.
This service works alongside of other city efforts to keep children busy, safe and engaged throughout the summer. On Monday, the “Cultural Pass” program will launch, in which children and students can visit some of the region’s greatest cultural organizations for free this summer. The pass, a collaboration between Metro Government and cultural partners to address the importance of arts education in Louisville, admits one child/student (ages 0 through college) to attractions as diverse as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Kentucky Derby Museum to Yew Dell Gardens. If the child is under 16, one parent or guardian is also admitted. Passes may be picked up at any library branch or community center.