Summer Showcase (May 5): Great way to start planning for summer fun!

By Larry Carpenter

“‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about’.” These lyrics from pop singer John Mayer’s song, “Wildfire,” ignite a spark of anxiousness as the end of the school year inches closer and the summer months draw near—especially for students who have worked hard in the classroom all school year long reading, writing, testing, and growing their minds and bodies.

As a student, I remember so vividly how the looming summer vacation from school would bring opportunities to be outdoors, attend summer camps, go to the swimming pool, or even just mow the lawn and smell the fresh cut grass. The length of the sunny days would unfold and give rise to something new and challenging everyday. And when the Texas heat grew too hot to be outdoors for long periods of time, it was important to have activities indoors to keep me occupied and engaged.

That is where the Hawthorne Youth Center came into play for me. The HYC was a very small, community-based summer activity center in my old hometown. Owned by a local family, giving back to local kids was priority number one. Just a three-quarter mile bike ride from my front door, the HYC provided creative, athletic, educational, and social activities and events for youth of all ages. It was there that I not only learned the value of being part of a team, but I learned the value of social interaction, developing confidence to start conversations with others I didn’t already know. I enjoyed those summers at the HYC, and I was so very thankful that my school let the group promote their summer camp so that my family had the opportunity to let me go and grow.

It’s not very different for kids today. As we move closer to the close of the 2018 school year, students and their parents will be looking for activities to occupy their time in creative, fun, and educational ways.

In an effort to highlight many of the amazing opportunities available to families in the Waco area this summer, the Waco ISD Department of Student Services and Family Engagement is sponsoring a Summer Showcase on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Mayborn Museum from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

Organizations, clubs, companies, and non-profits, among others will be sharing information about summer camps, student-centered activities, and other summer happenings at the Showcase. Whether you are looking for artistic outlets, growing a garden, developing leadership opportunities or just finding a way to keep cool in the summer heat—the Summer Showcase is the place to explore all your options. Many of the events and offerings are free or low-cost, and the Summer Showcase is a perfect time to find out what’s going on in our community this summer.

At the Cinco de Mayo themed event, families will enjoy food catered from George’s Restaurant,  get free prizes from the various organizations represented, be entertained by a variety of activities and performances, and most importantly, get information on summer activities for youth of all ages.

The event is open to all of the Waco area community. It is never too early to see what’s happening in the community to help you make the most informed plans for the summer.

As the hard work of another school year comes to an end, it reminds me so fondly of my summers at the Hawthorne Youth Center and what a difference those experiences had in my life.

Waco ISD hopes to share some of those exciting opportunities to the community through the Summer Showcase! So, we hope to see you on May 5 at the Mayborn Museum from 9:00 to Noon!

Happy Summer everyone!

Larry Carpenter is the Director of Fine Arts for Waco ISD. Having been with WISD for 18 of his 24 years in education, he has served WISD as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant director of Advanced Academics and now Director of Fine Arts.


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