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City Announces More Than $16 Million in Summer Programming for Columbus Youth

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther today joined city and community partners to announce $16.2 million in city support for summer programming for Columbus youth. From education and violence prevention to career exploration, jobs training and more, all the programs receiving funding are designed to provide safe, constructive and engaging outlets for youth to learn and thrive throughout the summer.

“Every young person can do something fun and meaningful this summer. Whether that’s getting a first job with the Recreation and Parks Department, going to our many summer camps, doing a creative industry internship with partners like the Columbus Fashion Alliance, or attending unique events with groups like My Brother’s Keeper,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “I got my start as an intern for Mayor Michael B. Coleman and a summer job at Zoombezi Bay, both of which helped me earn and learn when I was a teenager.”

Of the total $16.2 million in city funding that was announced, the administration is dedicating $14.4 million from the American Rescue Plan and the city’s General Fund. Columbus City Council is contributing $1.8 million, all from the Reimagining Safety Fund.

“Over the past two years, our youth have experienced profound upheaval and uncertainty, but one constant has been our commitment to empowering them with the skills, knowledge and experiences they need to enrich their minds, develop healthy habits and lead safe, productive lives,” said Mayor Ginther. “By combining federal stimulus dollars with city funding and other community investments, we are expanding the range of summer programming available to our youth and, ultimately, building a brighter future for all our residents.”

To help reduce violence across Columbus, the administration and City Council are allocating a combined $7.9 million for programs that promote community safety. $5.3 million is going toward programs that engage youth through various mentorship and educational opportunities, including camps and other experiences designed to reduce violence and encourage positive social interactions. Approximately $3 million is specifically devoted to workforce development programming.

Separately, Franklin County is investing over $6.1 million to support enriching activities for youth this summer, from free day camps for elementary and middle school students to paid work experiences, and college and career readiness programs for high school students and young adults. In general, families must meet Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) income guidelines to qualify for county programming.

“I am proud to join my colleagues from the City of Columbus to highlight meaningful summer experiences for our youth. We all have a shared responsibility to help ensure the future leaders in our region are engaged in the community and prepared to enter the workforce,” said Franklin County Board of Commissioners President Erica C. Crawley. “One of the goals of the Franklin County Rise Together Blueprint is to support our most vulnerable youth by investing in pathways that will set them up for long-term success.”

Additionally, Columbus City Schools will once again host the Summer Experience, a free, immersive learning program for students in pre-K through grade 12 to accelerate their education or engage in course recovery.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon echoed the importance of helping students make the most of summer break. “Columbus City Schools shares a commitment with the city to keep our students safe and actively engaged over the summer. Our Summer Experience will provide unique learning opportunities with six weeks of fun, hands-on enrichment for our students in a safe environment to continue growing academically and socially.” The program runs June 21 - July 28, and the deadline to register is Friday, May 20.

Ordinances authorizing the allocation of city funding will be considered by Columbus City Council at the May 23 and June 6 regular meetings. A list of organizations receiving funds, along with contact information, is available at