The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it’s been especially tough on our kids. Most Stateline area kids have had a mix of in-person and remote learning for the past 14 months. While things are getting back to normal, it will take time for our kids to recover academically and socially.

The City of Rockford, Rockford Public Schools, the Rockford Park District, and Alignment Rockford came together with more than 30 partners in the community to come up with a way to make sure our students are ready to succeed next school year and beyond.

Live, Learn, and Play is a new initiative designed to help support Rockford area students year-round. Programs are kicking off this summer with a focus on helping kids recover some of the lost time learning and socializing with their peers. Live, Learn, Play is geared towards kids in PreK through 12th grade in public and private schools in the Rockford area. Some programs require an invitation and others are open to all kids in the greater Rockford area.

Many of these programs are completely FREE for kids to participate in!

Here’s a breakdown of some of the offerings for families in the Rockford area.

Programs for preschoolers:

S’more Summer Fun is a summer learning experience for RPS205 Early Childhood students from July 6 – 30 in the morning (8 – 10:15 am) or afternoon (10:45 am – 1 pm). Register here.

Programs for grade-schoolers:

CAMP No Other Future Like Yours 2021 is a summer program for students in kindergarten through 7th grade who meet the grant requirements at a Title I funded RPS public school from July 6 – 30. Register here.

Community Kids Zone at East High School for kids ages 9-17 from June 4 – June 29. Activities include basketball, volleyball, cooking class, art, and games. Register here.

Rockford Safety Camp offers the chance to learn about bike safety, fire safety, water safety, animal safety, and bullying for kids in 3rd – 5th grade on July 17 – 18 and 19 – 20. Register here.

Rockford Youth Police Academy is a program for kids 13-17 to be introduced to the law enforcement community from July 23 – 27 at Auburn and August 13 – 17 at City First Church. Register here. 

Rockford Barbell is offering free weightlifting classes for kids ages 10-18 every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Sign up here.

SPARK in the Park is offering the chance to work with local artists and complete outdoor work at the Nicholas Conservatory for kids ages 8-12. Register here.

Programs for teens:

The City of Rockford is offering a large variety of internships and summer jobs. You can view a list here.

New Ways is a collaboration between Rockford Area Arts Council, United Way of Rock River Valley, and New Genres Art Spaces. There will be classes in animation, sound art, and 3D printing for kids ages 11-17. Register here. 

SPARK! is offering two programs that allows teens ages 13-18 to work closely with local artists in a variety of mediums. They can either learn mosaic sculpture creation or how to build community treasure boxes. Register here. 

Workforce Connection is offering programs on basic skills, GED instruction, and more for young adults who are no longer in school and ages 16 – 24. You can find more information here.

You can view all of the opportunities available in the Live, Learn, and Play initiative here!

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