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Summer programs offer kids safe, creative outlets

Summer programs offer kids safe, creative outlets

Clad in red, yellow and black, the marching band and dance troupe in a Gilmor Homes courtyard did more than celebrate a community center’s opening. They ushered in a new location for safe summer activities.

Gilmor Homes is one of six citywide sites with a Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore summer camp. The program, which runs through Aug. 5, offers participants a positive summer outlet, said Ken Darden, Metro Baltimore chapter president.

“There’s a lot of violence and a lot of drugs and a lot of gang activity” in city neighborhoods, Darden said. When kids “come to the Boys & Girls Club, they know that’s the one place where they can be safe and where they can engage in fun activities.”

About 40 staff and 300 youths are included in Darden’s programming, which includes a book reading challenge, arts activities, fitness classes and weekly trips to places such as the Walters Art Museum and the national zoo in Washington.

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