St. Paul Public Schools is seeking to keep kids engaged virtually this summer through a new online enrichment program, St. Paul Connect.
Activities are being offered in partnership with other youth organizations and come in response to pandemic-related cancellations of camps and other in-person programming.
That does not necessarily mean, however, that students remain indoors.
Outdoor Activity Bingo, for example, encourages kids to complete and then cross off a variety of activities that include cycling, fishing and drawing with sidewalk chalk. The bingo card can be accessed at spps.org/saintpaulconnect, and was created by the group Wilderness Inquiry.
All activities are free and include options for students from ages 3 to 18.
Videos also are available that include participation of recent members of the district's Student Engagement and Advancement Board (SEAB).
In one, Malachi Raymond teaches the fundamentals of Frisbee tosses.
In others, Serena Jing profiles historic Black figures like George Washington Carver and Claudette Colvin — the latter of whom was arrested at age 15 for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus.
The incident occurred nine months before Rosa Parks gained national attention for the same act and was highlighted by Jing and St. Paul Connect to show that young people often help drive movements.
Four years ago, during Jing's tenure as a SEAB member, the group was credited with bringing attention to student concerns about the presence of police officers in the schools. Last week, the school board decided to no longer deploy school resource officers in seven district high schools.