Arlington Community Center keeping Nashua youth busy this summer

NASHUA – Arlington Street Community Center officials are working to keep the youth of Nashua busy this summer by offering a number of different free camps and activities. This is the center’s second summer in operation, having officially opened Oct. 28, 2017.

“We’re growing pretty quickly and we’re glad to be able to serve the community as best we can,” Arlington Street Community Center Director Megan Caron said. “When you stop to think about it, summer activities really are a privilege. Many of them are expensive, and that’s something we want to keep in mind. When we offer free activities, our goal is to eliminate as many barriers a possible.”

She added, “A city that levels the playing field and creates equal opportunities is a city that is ultimately healthier and happier and collectively more engaged.”

Throughout the summer, there will be several camps offered. The first camp that is running is the Arlington Street Community Center’s Thursday Day camp, which is already in session and began last week. Families are still welcome to enroll in this program.

Thursday Day Camp is completely free and offered to students in grades 1-5 every Thursday from 1-4 p.m. Nearly 20 students from the community have already joined, Caron said.

Students will spend their time doing arts and crafts, engaging in activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), playing games outside and utilizing structured computer time.

Caron said that with all of the activities they want to run in the summer, they work to provide a chance to build upon any type of social development or social emotional learning that students have experienced earlier in the year.

Next week, the center will also be hosting a STEM camp through a partnership with the University of New Hampshire’s Extension Program. Program representatives will be visiting the center on July 22 and July 23 to teach students fun lessons in STEM. They will be building their own mousetrap cars.

The camp will run from 9 to 4 p.m. both days and is offered to students in grades 4-6. The camp is free for students. All that is required is campers bring a lunch. Caron said there are a few spots that are still open.

Later in the summer, the center will be hosting Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center Nursing Quest camp for rising seventh and eighth-grade students who are interested in exploring careers in nursing. The camp runs from 8:30 to 3:30 p.m., Aug. 5-9. Registration is $250, but Caron said scholarships are available.

For more information on camp registrations, contact the center at ASCC@nashuanh.gov, or call 603-204-5303.

Aside from day camps, the center will be partnering with Positive Street Art to offer salsa and breakdancing classes.

Salsa classes are ongoing and will wrap up next week. Breakdancing classes will be offered beginning on Aug. 6. Students ages 5-10 are invited to join on Tuesdays from 4:15-5:40 p.m. Students ages 11-18 are invited to join from 5:45-7 p.m.

While there are quite a few programs that will be offered this summer, Caron said organizers are always looking for new ideas.

“We love to hear from community members about what they would like to see at the center because the community is who we serve,” Caron said.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.