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Opinion

Summer fun

| Saturday, June 11, 2011

All these options offer a variety of learning opportunities.

Many parents are looking for different things for their children to do this summer.

They won't have to look far.

Local libraries, including Connellsville's Carnegie and those in neighboring Scottdale and Mt. Pleasant, are hosting various summer reading programs for youth of all ages.

We encourage parents to promote their children's reading during the summer months — whether it be fiction or nonfiction, a magazine or a newspaper.

In some cases, that may require convincing youngsters that reading is not the drudgery that they perceive it to be. Many libraries are ready and able to help aid in that process. They also are great places to explore on rainy days.

The Uniontown YMCA this week opened its summer day camp in Connellsville. We hope parents have looked into the opportunity offered by the YMCA. The program offers staffed recreational and educational programs.

Elsewhere, the neighboring Regional Family YMCA of East Huntingdon is offering day camps and other programs that local youth can enjoy.

Let's not forget, either, the recreational programs being offered by local municipalities in Connellsville, Scottdale, Mt. Pleasant and other communities. All these options offer a variety of learning opportunities.

There are other opportunities for summer learning:

• Dinners around picnic tables, campfires, on beach blankets and around restaurant tables can provide a venue for casual conversation — observations shared by adults and children about life.

• Travel provides an opportunity for learning without pressure. What is the economy like at one's vacation destination• What customs are common to that area as opposed to our hometowns?

• Viewing natural wonders — from the grandiose like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon to simple walks in the woods or visits to major metropolitan areas — will give our youngsters the opportunity to understand their place in a diverse national landscape and culture.

In Fayette County, a ride down Route 40 to Fort Necessity, Laurel Caverns, Friendship Hill and other destinations allows the family to review our local history. Even right here in Connellsville, take a ride on the bike trail or have a picnic down by Crawford's Cabin.

Summer need not be an educational wasteland. In fact, it is the opposite. It is a time to demonstrate to our children and grandchildren that learning is a fun, lifetime activity.

Summer should be approached by parents as a time to continue learning — albeit in a different, more leisurely way.

Yes, there are things for our youth to do this summer.

And you don't have to look too far.

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