Sunday Conversations: Insights from Samantha Thies at Columbus Parks & Recreation

Sunday Conversations: Insights from Samantha Thies at Columbus Parks & Recreation

By Leslie Hudgins

Sunday Conversations

During this week’s Sunday conversation, Samantha Thies, Division Manager for Community Schools at Columbus Parks & Recreation, joined the Riley’s in the studio to discuss the exciting summer programs being offered for kids in the Columbus community.

Thies shared that her passion for working with children began in her own childhood. Raised in a large family of six, she grew up in a household that prioritized learning through play and spending time outdoors. This background has fueled her dedication to assisting in correlating enriching experiences for the children of Columbus.

"One of the main goals of Parks and Recreation is to positively serve the children and citizens of the community," says Thies. "We pride ourselves on creating meaningful experiences for the children of Columbus that they will remember for a lifetime."

To ensure these lasting memories, Columbus Parks & Recreation is sponsoring two programs this summer: several STEM-based programs and camps throughout the community and the Summer Fun Pass.

The city is offering STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) based summer programs for children ages 4 to 12. These income-based programs begin on May 28th and run through August 2nd. Kids will have the chance to participate in a variety of activities, including robotics, box car-building competitions, arts and crafts, and science experiments. This says, "These programs provide children with the opportunity to explore and develop new skills in a fun and supportive environment."

Available the first week of June, the Summer Fun Pass offers unlimited access to a variety of activities and clubs, including drama, cooking and STEM. Parents can sign up for the passes at any Metro location, recreation center, or library with proper identification. Each family can receive a pass for every child they have, making it easy and convenient for all parents to plan their kids' summer activities.

This summer, Columbus kids can look forward to numerous planned experiences and field trips, including dance lessons, swim days and visits to the Springer House and local museums. The Muscogee County School District will provide all transportation for these trips free of charge, ensuring the safety and care of your children during these exciting outings.

 Double Churches Pool, located at 2300 Double Churches Road, has also opened for the summer. The pool is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information on available programs and a list of summer activities, visit the Columbus Parks and Recreation Facebook page or call the office directly at 706-225-4658.

Why this is important to the Black and Hispanic community: This news article is important to the Black and Hispanic communities because it highlights accessible and enriching summer programs for children, which can play a critical role in bridging educational and recreational gaps often experienced by minority communities. The STEAM-based programs and the Summer Fun Pass offer affordable opportunities for skill development and meaningful experiences, promoting equity and ensuring that children from all backgrounds can enjoy a safe, educational, and fun summer. These initiatives help foster a supportive environment that encourages learning and personal growth, benefiting both children and their families.

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