NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today held a press conference at the Morris F.X. Jeff, Sr. Recreation Center on the West Bank to announce the City’s summer youth programming. Mayor Cantrell was joined by the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission Chief Executive Officer Larry Barabino, Jr., Executive Director of the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) and City Librarian Emily Painton, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Sunae Villavaso and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families Emily Wolff to provide information on upcoming summer programming.
“Our summer programming will be available to all youth throughout the City of New Orleans and their families,” said Mayor Cantrell. “We are making a comeback related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the City continues to move in the right direction. I am excited that our programming will be in-person and in a safe and fun environment. We hope to serve more than 5,000 children and teens and are being unified in our approach to bring back these programs in partnership with several City agencies and other community organizations that are embedded in NORD.”
Youth summer camps are offered by NORD and community partners for kids ages 4-12. A total of 26 youth camps and six summer camps for teens are being offered. Parents can visit the NORDC website for the most up-to-date camp information or call the main office at 504-658-3052.
“Serving and supporting our city’s youth and teens are year-round priorities for NORD,” said Barabino, Jr.. “Summer is an exciting yet important time for our young people and the community. I am pleased to return to full play and recreational activities, camps and services this summer. In addition to camps, we look forward to opening our outdoor pools located in communities across the city. NORD is urgently looking to hire 100 summer lifeguards for the season, and we encourage residents ages 16 and older who can swim to contact our office immediately to apply. Summer at NORD would not be possible without the support of our City leaders, NORD Commission and community partners who work diligently year-round to ensure residents have access to safe and enriching summer programs and services. We look forward to a successful summer and welcome residents to view and register for the many in-person offerings available at www.nordc.org.”
The New Orleans Public Library will offer summer programs aimed at increasing literacy for children and adults, encouraging New Orleans residents to read more during the summer.
“The New Orleans Public Library is gearing up for summer fun. This year, we are thrilled to be back in-person while continuing to offer virtual options. From Audubon visits to 3D printing, Ogden Museum puppet shows to music workshops and more, we have something for everyone at the Library,” said Painton. “In addition to events, we are hosting our annual reading challenge, which libraries across the country put on to prevent the ‘summer slide’ where students lose educational gains made during the school year. The best part? Any book, e-book, audiobook, or e-audiobook counts! Visit any Library location beginning June 1 to get information and to sign up.”
The City’s JOB1 program will offer teens a chance to work in fields of their choosing. By partnering with private companies and non-profit organizations, JOB1 is able to provide quality summer experiences in safe, structured and properly supervised environments for more than 640 teenagers in New Orleans.
“The objective of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program is to give a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes to work in their chosen career path,” said Villavaso. “We hope our youth will use this program as a launching pad in pursuit of their long-term career goals.”
The Office of Youth and Families will provide internships through its “Summer Success” program for system-involved youth, in partnership with JOB1. The program seeks to address youth poverty, unemployment and recidivism by matching youth with community-based, paid work readiness experiences. Additionally, youth are provided with case management services. Referrals are made by juvenile justice agencies, school social workers and the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center.
“The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families is proud to operate our third year of the ‘Summer Success’ program. This program is key to Mayor Cantrell’s public safety and generational economic development strategy,” said Wolff. “By pouring into our most vulnerable youth—those who have interacted with the juvenile justice system and who have become disconnected from school—we are providing our youth with an opportunity to explore their interests and gain paid, hands-on work experiences that will transform their lives. We cannot do this important work alone, which is why we are thrilled to be partnered with 10 incredible community organizations who operate programs that will touch every council district this summer.”