With summer right around the corner, parents in the East Durham community don’t need to look far to find a summer child-care program.
W.D. Hill Recreation Center offers a nine-week summer program for the youth who need guidance from their community. The summer program selects 60 children to participate in the camp. Registration began last month.
W.D. Hill Recreation Center is a Durham Parks and Recreation initiative, providing after- school assistance, tutoring, and summer programs.
“Our summer activities consist of karate, dance, disc golf, adventure trips, Profession and Olympic day, we strive to make the kids have an escape and have fun,” says Roger L. Hill, W.D. Hill recreation specialist.
The summer program operates on a first come and first basis; however the program has a sliding fee scale, which helps parents who cannot afford the summer program to get their children into the program.
“The Sliding Fee Scale is based on income, meaning our price to attend the camp is $133, but for parents that cannot afford our program, we take 10 percent from the price, and the parent ends up paying $13 a week,” said Charisse Lovett, W.D. Hill Recreation Specialist.
At W.D. Hill Center, the staff has a passion for working together and make sure each child is loved. The staff works close with parents to make sure the children are participating in healthy, positive, and structured activities.
Lovett and Hill stated that for every child they mentor, they make it their ultimate mission to make sure that they are informed about the children’s needs. They love that each child is able to be comfortable and want to be the best in all aspects of their lives.
“One thing I stress is love and making sure to mentor and have a positive impression on the children in the summer,”said Lovett.
Only a few months ago, Lovett was mentoring Jayden Sharpe, a 9-year-old boy who was shot and killed in the driveway of his mother’s home.
“When he passed away, it was devastating and pushed me even harder to let the children know that I care and anytime there is a problem to talk about the issue,” said Lovett. “I treat each child like my own.”
W.D. Hill Center staff stated that community support going well. However they expressed those college students from the Durham-Raleigh area should invest more time for the youth. The staff encourages college students to volunteer and to find out about opportunities that can advance them in the future.
“We want all college students to help. When a college student comes and mentors the children, it is a good experience and they will have a positive impact on the children,” said Hill.
Shontea Johnson, a Facility Attendant, stated her son attends the summer program, it has helped with child care services, affordable, and the program keeps him structure and active.
“My son loves coming to the W.D. Hill Recreation Center summer program. He is an example for the children. I know he is in good hands,” said Johnson.
For more information about W.D. Hill Recreation Center summer program go to www.durhamnc.gov/departments/parks/.