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Columbus to spend $16 million on summer youth programs

Urban Scouts on their way to Linden's Miracle Gardens in the summer of 2020.
WOSU File Photo
Urban Scouts on their way to Linden's Miracle Gardens in the summer of 2020.

With summer just around the corner, Columbus city leaders are looking to spend more than $16 million for summer youth programs.

Columbus City Council will consider the spending at its meetings Monday night and June 6.

The city is promoting a wide variety of summer youth programs, geared toward everything from education and violence prevention to career exploration and job training.

"Whether we're related to them or know them or not, these are our kids. And we need to do everything in our power to protect them, provide them with opportunities, and collectively reclaim them as a community," said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

At a news conference last week, Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin recalled his first job working at Wyandot Lake, now Zoombezi Bay.

"It didn't quite lead to my current career, but it did teach me and my friends to work with people how to engage with folks. Summer jobs put extra dollars in our pockets and keep us out of trouble," Hardin said.

The programming will be paid for with more than $14 million from the American Rescue Plan, plus almost $2 million in city funds.

A list of organizations receiving funds, along with contact information, is available here.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.