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Connect, Learn, Explore: Boston's Commitment to Youth

We are building a family friendly Boston where our kids have the resources they need to thrive.

We are building a city with access to quality education, safe housing, robust health care, and healthy and affordable food for all our kids. In partnership with our families, we are working across City departments to deliver for our littlest learners. 

We also have to go beyond meeting basic needs to empower kids to explore and find their passions. The commitments outlined below will help our kids learn about themselves and connect with their community by age 8.

Get a Connect, Learn, Explore sticker card today! Collect a sticker for each activity you complete, after you've collected the 5 activity stickers collect the grand prize sticker at your last activity! 

Families with participating children will be receiving a letter about this initiative.

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Learn to Swim

Two kids jump into the pool, into the arms of two adults.

As a coastal city, families deserve access to opportunities to learn how to swim and safely enjoy the water.  Every child will have access to swimming lessons through the city’s Swim Safe Boston program, which is offered through the YMCA of Greater Boston, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and  Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF). 

In Year One, we will reopen three BCYF pools: Perkins, Hennigan, and Mattahunt, and the Curly beachfront; in addition to reinvigorating our swim lesson programming in partnership with the YMCA. Register for free swim lessons today! 

In partnership with Boston Public Schools (BPS) Courageous Sailing is offering a summer program to BPS students. Swim Sail Science for students to learn how to sail and swim. 2024 registration will be posted in the Summer! 

Connect with the Arts

Connect to the arts

Music, dance, theater, and art are critical for self expression. We will provide access to instruments, artists and other resources to help our young people learn and grow.

In Year One, we will launch ARPA-funded arts programming in select BCYF centers and support the New England Conservatory’s partnership with ABCD Headstart and Ellis Early Learning.

In partnership with the BPS the New England Conservatory is offering Everyone Can Make Music a summer music learning experience for students to learn performance, theory, composition, and much more. 

Parks and Recreations arts and crafts workshops hosted by a local artist in various parks throughout the City of Boston. 

2024 programing will be posted in the Summer! 

Play a Sport

bcyf tynan2

Sports can teach kids physical skills, teamwork, and persistence. BCYF, BPS, and our partners in youth sports will help make sure that every kid can choose and participate in quality sports programs.

In Year One, we will conduct a comprehensive landscape audit of youth sports programs and facilities provided across our city.

Parks and Recreation is offering free athletic programs, clinics, and camps in neighborhood parks across the City. 

BCYF is offering free athletic courses and programs at various neighborhood parks across the City. Learn more and register. 

In partnership with Parks and Recreation, Tenacity is offering a summer Tennis and Reading program.

In partnership with BPS, Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center is offering a summer tennis and fitness program. 2024 registration will be posted in the summer!

Learn to Bike

Learn to Ride a Bike

Biking helps kids explore their neighborhood, have fun, and grow. The City, in partnership with community partners, will provide the resources and support so every Boston kid has the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.

In Year One, we will partner with Countdown to Kindergarten at this summer’s Kite and Bike Festival in Franklin Park to grow our biking clinic for young children.  Bike riding program for kids took place at White Stadium, East Boston Stadium, and Hunt Almont Park

In addition, the following Community Partners are offering biking as part of their programing. At this time, registration is limited to students who attend these programs.

  • South Boston Neighborhood House (SBNH) at Moakley park
  • East Boston Social Center
  • Ellis Early Learning in South End and Jamaica Plain
  • Epiphany Early Learning Center
  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • YMCA of Greater Boston at Parkway West Roxbury, East Boston and Roxbury
  • BCYF Shelburne, Mildred Avenue and Marshall Community Centers. Marshall has relocated to BCYF Holland.

2024 registration will be posted in the Summer! 

Grow a Green Generation

Two people water a newly planted tree.

Growing plants can help our littlest learners connect with nature. Community gardens, partners, and outdoor classrooms will provide all kids access to plants and plant care.

In Year One, GrowBoston, Office of Food Justice, BPS, and BCYF will partner to assess which schools and community centers have gardens and invest in raised beds at an additional 10 sites. To date the following schools have participated by hosting a garden:

Baldwin Early Learning Pilot Academy
Bates School
Beethoven School
Blackstone Elementary School
Boston Teacher’s Union K-8
Bradley School
Carter School
Channing School
Chittick School
Clap School
Condon K-8 School
Conley Elementary School
Curley K-8 School
Dudley St Neighborhood Charter
East Boston EEC
Edison K-8 School
Eliot K-8 Innovation School - Lower
Ellis Elementary School
Ellison-Parks Early Education School
Haynes Early Education Center
Henderson K-12 Inclusion School, Lower Campus
Hennigan K-8 School
Henry Grew Elementary School
Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
Higginson-Lewis K-8 School
Horace Mann/Jackson Mann
John F Kennedy
Joseph Hurley School K-8
Joseph Lee K-8
Kenny Elementary School
Kilmer Lower School
Lee Academy Pilot
Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School
Mary Lyon Lower
Mather Elementary School
Mattahunt Elementary School
Mel King Elementary
Mel King South End Academy
Mildred Ave
Orchard Gardens Pilot School
P.A. Shaw
Philbrick Elementary School
PJ Kennedy
Quincy Elementary
Roosevelt Lower
Russell Elementary School
Sarah Greenwood
Taylor Elementary
Tobin K-8 School
Trotter Elementary
Tynan Elementary School
Umana K-8
UP Academy Boston
UP Academy Dorchester
UP Academy Holland
Winthrop Elementary School
Young Achievers K-8 School
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