Have you heard about the Summer Nights program in New Bedford?

Launched in 2015, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) aimed to provide recreational and educational activities to young people in urban areas during evening hours.

The program proved to be hugely successful and continues to grow each year. This year, DCR partnered with 84 organizations to provide recreational programming to urban youth at around 120 locations across the state, with New Bedford representing 9 of those partnerships.

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What Is the Summer Nights Program?

The Summer Nights Program ensures that young people in urban areas have an enriched, fun, and safe summer. Activities like basketball, flag football, camping, and nature exploration provide activities for kids that create lasting summertime memories. Sessions in leadership skill building, health and wellness, and more are geared toward helping the youth expand their minds, creating a brighter future for local kids.

Here's how to get involved.

New Bedford Locations for the Summer Nights Program

Dream Out Loud Creative Careers Center (127 West Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford)

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Serving New Bedford students who have entered or completed grades 5 – 9. Programming includes activities for personal growth and well-being through creative self-expression.

Students will participate in music/songwriting workshops, in which they compose lyrics and music to original creations, and illustration/graphic design classes that cover basic intermediate-level graphic design techniques. The program runs from July 7– August 24, and by the end of the summer, students will have created their own original work of art to be featured in a CD or publication to be shared at a Student Showcase at the end of the semester that is open to the public.

Summer Nights participants will also engage with the community during New Bedford’s AHA! Night (Art, History & Architecture) -- New Bedford’s free Downtown Cultural Night and collaborative cultural organization with over 60 downtown venue partners. AHA! takes place every second Thursday of every month at various venues throughout the city. For more information, call (508) 961-3020.

Dennison Memorial Community Center (755 South First Street, New Bedford)

Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, and late-night programs. Dennison Memorial Community Center will be hosting basketball clinics, field trips, and special events. For more information, please visit www.dennisoncommunity.org or call (508)-996-2691.

Leaders In Training LLC (545 Purchase Street, New Bedford)

Monday-Thursday, 5 pm -9 pm. Leaders In Training is hosting a co-ed basketball league at Buttonwood Park (Rockdale Ave., New Bedford) for elementary through high school-aged youth focused on developing individual and team skills. For more information, please call 508-742-8650. The program runs from July 1- August 15.

NorthStar Learning Centers (HEAL Center, 95 Cedar Street, New Bedford)

Tuesdays from 2:30 pm-4:30 pm, the HEAL Center will host a Visual Arts Night (painting on canvases, aprons, doing sand art, while channeling the youth's creativity) with Eden.

Wednesdays from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm, the HEAL Center will be hosting boxing with Wilson Mascarenhas. From 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm, the center will host a game night.

Thursdays from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, the HEAL Center will be hosting a multimedia Art Night (making jewelry, ceramics, mask making, and sign making).

For more information or to register, call Shawnte Paris at (508)-962-1999 or email at sparis@northstarlc.org. The program starts Wednesday, July 5, and runs through August 17. Youth Celebration Day will be held on August 19.

Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford (166 Jenney Street, New Bedford)

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Tuesday & Thursday 5:30 pm -7:30 pm. Activities include technology, the arts, sports recreation, education, field trips, and more! Call (508) 992-8011 for more information. The program begins July 3 and runs through August 25.

Community Boating Center (1641 Padanaram Ave, New Bedford)

Wednesday evenings from 5:30 pm – 9:30 p.m. hosting organized sailboat games and races and participating in the New Bedford Yacht Club summer race series. Please visit www.communityboating.org or call (508) 992-6219 for more information. The program begins July 12 and runs through August 16.

Discovery Language Academy (128 Union Street, downtown New Bedford)

During the months of July and August, the program will be two-fold; from 9 am to 4:30 pm, it will take place at a DCR location (please see Program Summary), and from 4:30 pm -7 pm, it will take place at our facility. The evening workshops will include Healthy Cooking Classes by Coastal Foodshed, Yoga classes with New Bedford Wellness, Folkloric dance Classes, swimming classes at the YMCA, Arts classes with Eufemia Reis of House of Gamboa (local artist), etc. The students will also meet at Union Square in downtown New Bedford for Art Night and at Dartmouth Soccer League for evening soccer drills. The program will be held from July 10th through August 11th.

Allen Haskell Gardens (787 Shawmut Ave, New Bedford)

Mondays from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm; hosting nature and outdoor recreation-based games including fort building, birding, map and compass, nature art, gardening, cornhole, and yoga.

Please visit www.thetrustees.org/mobileadventures or call 857-328-0531 for more information. The program starts Monday, July 10, and runs through August 14th.

Buttonwood Park (Rockdale Ave, New Bedford)

Tuesdays from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, hosting nature and outdoor recreation-based games including fort building, birding, map and compass, fishing, camping, nature art, gardening, nature cornhole tournaments, and yoga. Visit thetrustees.org/mobileadventures or call 857-328-0531 for more information. The program starts July 11 and runs through the 15th.

Happy Summer!

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