School Beat: Teen jobs, Summer Fun Available for San Francisco Kids

by Chris Loughran on March 9, 2006

The end of school is almost here, making it time for families to plan for where their children are going to be during those long summer days. It can feel like an overwhelming problem, given frequently high costs, shorter hours than a regular working day, and transportation issues.

Luckily, this Saturday, March 11th Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Families Connect Project is hosting a San Francisco Summer Resource Fair from 10 to 3 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Numerous programs will be represented all of which are designed to give kids something more to do than idle away the hours watching television.

Middle school kids in San Francisco can sign up for sailing, video making or improvement camps. Seven-year-old girls and boys can learn the fundamentals of cooking, soccer or nature. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department offers a wide assortment of camps like Camp Gourmet or Silver Tree Camp in beautiful Glen Canyon and low cost latch key programs.

And high school students will find suggestions of places to look for youth employment and travel camps. For kids 12 and up, check out the array of organizations that are looking for volunteers. It is a win-win for all as students can fulfill school community service requirements.

If your children are still in preschool, don’t worry–there will be several booths offering summer fun for this age group too. Younger children, from kindergartners through middle schoolers, can literally choose hundreds of free to moderately priced summer activities located in all points of the City.

All the usual standbys for summer are available, such as swimming, arts and sports. But many more unusual things to do are also available–who wouldn’t love to do a family camp homestay in Cuernavaca, Mexico!

Free workshops offered
10:30am- Get Ready to Go Away – preparing parents and children for sleep away camp
11:30am- Personal Safety for Youth – SF Safe will share crime prevention tips
12:30pm- How SF Youth Can Find a Job – hear about over 50 programs and resources that help youth get the training and experience they need
1:30pm- Discover SF Recreation & Parks – learn about programs in every neighborhood.

Summer recommendation tips from, an online resource for SF parents
• Popular summer camps and classes fill quickly but get on the waiting list as family plans can change.
• Many camps and classes offer financial assistance for families in need. Don’t be shy to ask.
• Understand the Cost – Understand what’s included in the tuition costs. While fees generally aren’t hidden, campers may be asked to pay for add-ons such as special activities or uniforms.
• Camps will often offer special discounts for early registration, full-season enrollment and enrollment of multiple family members. Know the refund policy before you send any money. Some camps refund prior to a certain date or for illness, but others don’t refund at all.
• Most websites show the entire catalog of their summer recreation programs online, including whether there are still openings available. You can check for an extensive list of camps, classes and calendar of events

Mark your calendar — San Francisco Family Summer Resource Fair, Saturday, March 11th 10am-3pm at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St. (between Polk and Larkin Streets). Coordinated by San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF) For a flyer visit: .

Chris Loughran, parent of 2 public school students attending Fairmount Elementary and James Lick Middle School. Member of the PTA and founding member of PPS. In my spare time I helped co-found, teach PE at Fairmount and organized the DCYF Summer Resource Fair.

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