La Casa de Amistad summer programs offer fun, educational programs

School's out for the summer, and a local community center is doing all they can to make sure Hispanic youth in Michiana continue their education outside of the classroom.

Thursday is the last day to sign up for La Casa de Amistad's summer programs.

There are two seven-week-long programs broken down into age groups, targeted toward Hispanic youth in our community.

One session is called Crece Conmigo, which means Grow with me and it's designed for 2nd to 7th graders.

Teenagers can get in on the Adelante session, which means Forward.

Activities for the teens include painting, museum tours, swimming, tennis, partnerships with the South Bend Police and work with a community garden.

"They actually get to go out there and work with them and give something back to the community," said Humberto Delgado, youth programs director at La Casa de Amistad. "At the same time they are learning about planting and growing."

Participants will also be taking field trips to five Indiana universities: Butler, University of Indianapolis, Indiana State, Wabash College and St. Mary's of the Woods.

A major focus of both programs will be workshops on culture and identity.

"We want them to have a better understanding of what culture means to them because their parents might be coming from Mexico or any other Latin American country," said Delgado. "But then they are born here. So they have a conflicting view about where they belong in culture itself."

Delgado also says programs like this provide an alternative for kids to stay out of trouble.

"Bringing kids to programs like this at La Casa de Amistad is actually guiding that curiosity that the kids might have and actually putting it to work instead of just being at home and thinking what trouble can I get into today," said Delgado.

If you want to sign up, contact LA Casa at 574-233-2120 or visit their location on 746 South Meade street in South Bend. You will have until 6 p.m Thursday to sign up.

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