Summer is here!
Last week, I mentioned that the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) is teaming up with the Ukiah Unified School District (UUSD) Superintendent Debra Kubin to sponsor a wonderful program called, “Ukiah Reads.” This program is now in its third year—it celebrates great books and fosters a love of reading (especially during summer).
The program does this by providing a carefully selected summer reading list for each grade level, and encouraging kids to read during the summer to make sure they are fully prepared to return to their classrooms in the fall.
You can find the Ukiah Reads book list online at www.uusd.net/pages/Ukiah_Unified/ukiahreads or www.ukiahpolice.com/community-support/ukiah-reads-summer-time-reading-list. Kids can pick up books on the list right here in Ukiah at the Mendocino County Library, the Mendocino Book Company at 102 S. School Street, or the Village Bookstore at 344 N. State Street.
This book list offers stories full of mystery, adventure, romance, friendship, heartbreak, joy, and much more. As the Ukiah Reads booklet says, “A magical world of reading awaits you!”
When our kids are out of school, studies show they are at greater risk for becoming victims of violent crimes and also more likely to engage in risky behaviors like smoking, drinking, or doing drugs.
If our kids are busy with productive activities, common sense tells us they are less likely to become victims of crimes or engage in dangerous activities. So let’s keep them busy with healthy, productive activities! When they aren’t reading, kids can participate in some great local activities this summer.
You should know that there are more opportunities in Ukiah than I can possibly describe in this column, so I’ll just highlight some of the best. First and foremost are the City of Ukiah’s recreation programs.
The City of Ukiah Recreation Department’s motto is, “Parks Make Life Better.” For our kids, I think the Summer Safari Day Program and City of Ukiah Municipal Swimming Pool truly do make life better each summer.
Each year, the day camp offers activities like crafts, sports, drama and more for kids ages 6 to 12 years old. The Summer Safari day camp is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. For families that can’t afford to attend, the program offers scholarships, so no one is turned away.
Along with Summer Safari, the City Pool offers a fantastic opportunity to keep kids busy and out of trouble. The pool’s open swim hours are Monday through Friday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In addition to open public swimming hours, the pool offers a variety of swim lessons and aquatic fitness classes. Knowing how to swim allows kids to be safe around water and provides them with a great way to get exercise. Each summer the pool has more than 11,500 visits; 633 kids and adults participate in swim classes, and about 184 people participate in the aquatic fitness program. As many have realized, the City Pool is a great way for kids to enjoy themselves and cool off during the hot summer months.
And every weekday this summer, the Ukiah Boys and Girls Club will provide a wonderful place for kids to learn and grow, all while having fun. A club membership costs only $50 for the whole year, including summertime supervision, allowing kids to spend their days filled wonderful activities. If you would like more information about the Boys and Girls Club, visit www.ukiahbgc.org
While many kids with time on their hands make good choices, some don’t. We’d all like to think our kids know better and won’t succumb to peer pressure or curiosity, but filling their time with positive activities reduces opportunities for risky behavior.
Keeping kids busy and reading really does help keep kids safe.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.