Joyfully Launching into Summer by Dr. Lisa Caruthers

Posted by Dr. Lisa Caruthers on 6/16/2021

As we enter the second pandemic summer, we are so excited to hear about all the activities that are becoming available across Houston/Harris County. A lot has changed since we last experienced this season. With guidelines loosening, and kids ready to have fun, it is important to acknowledge the ways the world has transformed, including the lives of programs staff and students. The excitement around more in-person programming can also bring some jitters around the unexpected. As we return to routines and each other, attempting to traverse this ever-changing world, practicing community care should be at the core of everything the OST community does. This includes seeking to provide relevant, responsive, and joyful summer services.

With that in mind, there are a few bits of advice for leaders planning to seize the season:

  • Lean-in to new ideas and innovation to create fresh, exciting programming that meets evolving academic and enrichment needs,
  • Make time to listen to your kids and staff as they reconnect,
  • Explore creative ways to improve programming access for all students,
  • Make resources readily available to site staff, students and families (don’t forget to utilize the materials in the SMART Zone),
  • Collaborate with fellow OST professionals to make bigger and better programs, and above all else,
  • Have fun while bringing joy to your kids!