With school about to let out, the City of Warren is finalizing preparations for its Summer Playground program.
Highlighted by supervised playground time at Crescent, Lacy and Beaty parks as well as a variety of field trips, the program will kick off on Monday, June 16 and run through Thursday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.
The program itself, which is open to kids age seven to 14, is free of charge. The costs associated with the program, which are the responsibility of the families participating, are for the field trips built into the program schedule.
The field trips are not mandatory.
Cindy Strandburg, who coordinates the program for the city, explained that field trips will take the kids to Darien Lake on June 30, a Pittsburgh Pirates game on Sunday, Aug. 10, and a Clark Ball tournament on Aug. 7.
Several pool days at the Warren Municipal Pool are also built into the schedule but not part of the total event cost.
Additionally, trips are planned for miniature golf, Chapman State Park and canoeing.
With the Pirates game on a Sunday, Strandburg said they are encouraging parents and family members to come on the trip, as well. City Administrator Mary Ann Nau said "we're encouraging that" to provide extra supervision for the trip.
Strandburg said the cost of all the events for one child is $123.
Nau explained that the city received donations to help defray the costs of the program.
She said "these are cost-based programs" that are "not on the taxpayers' dime."
"New this year, we are going to be participating in the Summer Lunch program," Nau said. The program, facilitated by the school district, brings free lunches to the kids who participate in the program. "That's a lot of people we will be able to bring food to," she added.
Nau said the selection of the sites for the program is strategic and brings the program to "one (park) per each section of town."
Strandburg said pre-registration sessions will be held at the respective parks at Crescent next Tuesday, June 10, at Beaty on June 11 and at Lacy on June 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.