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Organization Asks Denver Public Schools To Help Parents As Summer Camps Are Canceled

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver Public Schools announced this week summer camps will be canceled, and additional summer programming will be provided remotely to stop the spread of COVID-19. The announcement not only takes away educational enrichment while students out of school, but also a source of childcare for parents who need it while they are usually at work.

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"Who can help at this time? I really don't know," said Joanna Rosa-Saenz, a parent of DPS students who had a child planning to go to summer camp. "In order for me to pay the bills and continue to just survive, I need help."

The challenge of the stay-at-home order for some families is the struggle to watch over their kids when they cannot work remotely. This is not only a challenge for summer camp parents, but those who hoped to send students to summer school.

"What are they going to do with the kids who are falling behind?" asked Marisol Vasquez, a parent of a student who was enrolled in summer school.

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To make sure students can keep up with their education and all families have access to learning materials while children are at home, advocates with Transform Education Now (TEN) say it is essential that district and state leaders find a way to provide those resources during the summer.

TEN works with families to overcome inequities in the education system. The organization has provided many resources online during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We're really looking to districts to provide programming through the summer so that parents have programs to work with their students," said Ariel Smith, a co-founder and executive director of TEN. "We're really hoping that in the coming months districts and the State of Colorado really prioritizes providing summer programming even if it's remote."

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In addition to district camps canceled, Summer Academy and high school credit recovery will be held remotely. Sixth and 9th grade academies will also be held remotely along with Extended Year Services for Special Education and all summer professional learning. Food services will continue grab-and-go distribution.

"It takes a village to raise a child, and my village is limited to virtual talks like we are on right now."

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