After Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a June 2 news conference that summer day camps across the state could open June 29, the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence announced that they would be holding a socially distanced middle school summer learning program for children in grades six to eight.
Modifications to the program are following safety guidelines established by the state, which requires protective gear such as face masks and disposable gloves to be worn by both staff and children. Games played in the Community Center’s gymnasium will be conducted with participants having at least six feet of distance from each other.
The program will include three groups of 10 children. Groups A and B will run for four weeks beginning July 6 through July 31. Group A will meet on Monday and Wednesdays at the center at 270 Lawrence Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Group B will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at that same time. To decrease the class sizes, there will be a Group C that will meet from Aug. 3 to 7.
Community Center Executive Director, K. Brent Hill noted that the building has served its constituency through the coronavirus pandemic. “We are proud that our service and programs have been up and running during this pandemic,” he said. “Along with our summer middle school program, we also have had youth counseling for adolescents, the bilingual program, English language classes and the lessons for the citizenship test taking place virtually.”
The center has been a community focal point for many to receive free food to battle the food insecurity many have endured in the wake of the pandemic. Donations of food have come from a variety of stores and organizations, including Cedarhurst-based nonprofit Rock and Wrap It Up!
With the free food pantry, Gammy’s Pantry, being run out of the Community Center by Inwood resident Sasha Young, children will receive what Young described as a “yummy and nutritious” lunch.
“All children will receive a free lunch that includes a snack and drink,” Young said. “Families can also receive a weekly Long Island Cares food box unless they indicate otherwise.”
The community center, through Gammy’s Pantry, also currently serves as a donation site for the Long Island Care nonprofit food bank headquartered in Freeport. It was funded by a portion of $2 million that the Town of Hempstead had allotted from a $133 million federal aid package.
The registration fee for the middle school summer learning is $25 and it will be due upon enrollment. Parents and/or guardians must enroll their child in person as enrollment is on a first come, first serve basis. To schedule an intake appointment, call (516) 239-6244 ext. 270.