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A Rockford Area Summer Program is Postponed Due to COVID-19

Rockford Area Arts Council

Families across Illinois have had to adapt to e-learning due to the stay-at-home order. But with the school year winding down, they’ll soon have to adapt to another new normal -- the lack of summer activities. A Rockford organization has made the decision to postpone its summer camp programs until 2021.

The Rockford Area Arts Councilhas summer art programs for children of all ages. There’s ArtsPlace, ArtsPlace II and RAAC camp.

Mary McNamara Bernsten is the executive director. She said although the programs are postponed, families will still have options.

“We are now working collaboratively with New Genres Art Space and the United Way of Rock River Valley to provide Art Space instruction, mentorship and skill-building while practicing safe social distancing,” she said.

She said children in the programs will also wear personal protective equipment, or PPE.

McNamara Bernsten said New Genres Art Space uses cutting edge technology which allows them to work with two groups of six children at a time. 

The United Way of Rock River Valley with the use of its safe houses, will make this happen.

McNamara Bernsten said the RAAC received a grant for ArtsPlace programs, from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

“The intent of the grant that we are always given, to provide that program, is going to live on this summer and we are going to connect with kids in the same way,” she explained.

McNamara Bernsten said the Council normally serves up to 250 children each summer. The alternate plan will only serve up to 12 per day.