City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach continues to invest in local youth by offering a variety of citywide programming to ensure local youth and emerging adults have safe, secure places to play and engage in activities during the long, hot summer days. This year, the City is allocating a total of $11.6 million for summer youth programming in Long Beach.
“As part of our Opportunity Beach agenda to invest in our youth, we want to make summer break a fun and enriching time for them. We know that many young people lack access to the things that make summer enjoyable and meaningful, such as playing with friends, reading books, eating healthy food, or participating in structured activities and adult mentorship. That’s why we offer a variety of summer programming that provides Long Beach youth with safe spaces to engage in active play and guided activities,’’ said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Through these programs, our youth can learn new skills and gain confidence in their abilities. We are committed to creating equitable opportunities for our youth to have a memorable summer.”
Over the past five fiscal years, the City has allocated over $100 million to support kids, youth and emerging adults. Strengthening funding, capacity, resources and visibility of summer programming aligns with Goal 2 of Long Beach’s Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative to “design and invest in community safety and violence prevention.” Focused on recreation, healthy living, civic engagement, skill-building, character development and more, this year’s summer youth programming includes a plethora of longtime programs as well as new offerings.
All summer long, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) is offering a multitude of free recreation programs so that youth and families have safe spaces to learn, play and socialize. Summer Fun Days, where children ages 5 to 12 can engage in supervised fun such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and special events; Be S.A.F.E. (Summer Activities in a Friendly Environment), which encourages families to spend time together by offering free recreation activities as well as free movies in the park; and Mobile Recess, which brings trucks loaded with equipment to blocked off neighborhood streets to provide free recreational activities for youth ages 5 through 14, are all free and available weekdays now through August 26. PRM is also offering the longstanding Summer Food Service Program to provide free and nutritious meals to local children and youth while school is out for summer.
Additionally, through a partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, PRM is once again offering youth T-ball, baseball and fastpitch softball programs this summer through Dodgers Dreamteam, a comprehensive sports-based youth development program that uses the power of sport to provide critical resources and services. The department also offers Summer Park, Beach and Aquatic Camps as well as a wide range of recreation classes and other paid programming. More information is available on LBParks.org.
The Health Department is hosting two different programs over the summer to provide Long Beach children and teens with enriching activities that promote health and wellness, civic engagement and leadership development. The Power Up Your Summer campaign, which encourages youth to engage in 60 minutes of active play every day over the summer months, will host Monday-night popups from 5 to 7 p.m. at local parks, including Cesar E. Chavez Park, Houghton Park and Veterans Park. Youth can participate in 60 minutes of organized play, sample healthy foods and receive nutrition education to help build healthy, active lifestyles. The Health Department is also offering the My Hood, My City program which engages youth through civic education and leadership development by way of neighborhood storytelling. Participating youth ages 14 to 24 who live in North Long Beach, the Westside and the Washington neighborhood will work throughout the summer to cultivate a media project highlighting the beauty and struggle of their neighborhoods through photography, writing and interviews with neighborhood leaders, culminating with in person tours.
The Long Beach Public Library is once again offering its Summer Reading Program, running now through August 12, where nearly 1,500 youth participants and readers of all ages will receive rewards and incentives for reading and extra incentives for completing activities and book reviews. Readers are encouraged to “Find Your Voice” by reading, completing activities and enjoying special events and programs at all 12 Library locations this summer. Residents can register and begin participation at any time during the program but the earlier the registration, the more incentives participants can earn. People can register in person at any Library location or online. The Library is also offering SEED Summer Camps, free weekly camps taking place now through August 18, where approximately 200 7th and 8th graders will explore an urban farm setting, make friends, practice mindfulness and get creative through art and design. Long Beach Public Library also offers an array of youth-focused books, media, clubs, events, programs and staffing, and more. More information is available at LBPL.org.
Long Beach Airport recently hosted its first Careers Take Flight externship where 13 students from Cabrillo and Jordan high schools learned about aviation careers and how to make themselves competitive for future positions. Over the course of the 40-hour, five-day program, students learned about the job duties, pay and credentials required for more than a dozen careers working for airports, airlines, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the business aviation sector. Participants who successfully completed the full course also received a $500 incentive payment.
The Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) is once again offering its popular, longtime Junior Lifeguards Program, which promotes pathways into public safety careers by offering students ages 9 to 17 instruction in lifeguard rescue techniques, first aid, ocean sports, physical conditioning and marine ecology. From the 90s to the early 2010s, the program averaged 200 to 300 participants and operated largely on word of mouth. Since partnering with Long Beach Unified School District and the City's Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine in 2014, the program has grown to average nearly one thousand participants annually with participating youth from all over Long Beach represented.
The City is committed to offering equitable and accessible summer youth programming that provides safe and engaging activities and supports community safety and violence prevention. The City encourages parents and caregivers to connect the children and youth in their households with any open recreation summer program the City is offering.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 166 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.