MILWAUKEE -- The last full school day for MPS students is Monday, and that's got parents scrambling for what to do to keep their kids happy, busy and safe this summer. MPS has found a way to expand their summer program this year and still keep a portion of it free of charge.
In Milwaukee, summer's about balance. MPS students get to spend half the day in a classroom and the rest of the day on a playground, and this year, spots won't fill up so fast.
“And we have an additional 2,000 seats available for students who live within the city of Milwaukee to participate in our programs, not only the academic component, the academic enrichment program, but the recreation component as well," said Sandy Schroeder, MPS summer academics.
For those outside Milwaukee, the YMCA's got a good deal.
“And we do everything under the sun from arts and crafts to sports. We do reading with the kids. We go on field trips with the kids and they eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as well for them," said Krista Bold, YMCA.
All that for $210 a week. Members get a $30 discount.
"I think the biggest thing to know is it’s a very safe camp as well which is a huge priority for us," said Bold.
Safety is also a priority for Milwaukee police. The chief held a roll call Thursday outside the James Madison Academy where he said students are vulnerable to becoming a victim, they're also vulnerable to becoming a criminal.
“The fact is we have had a significant spike in youth crime. Some of them are just experimenting with crime and probably have a good shot at aging out of it if somebody pays attention to their whereabouts and their conduct," said Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn.
The key is keeping kids busy. According to the New York Times, parents spent an average of $950 per child on summer expenses in 2014.