Summer camp hopes to keep local elementary students from drug use and violence

Summer camp hopes to keep local elementary students from drug use and violence.

UNION GAP, Wash. - Many people in the Yakima area feel that a way to end the recent shootings and violence is to get more involved with kids and their after-school activities.

The city of Union Gap and Julia Krolikowski with the Education District 105 have put together a summer camp for local students to do just that.

"When there are fun activities for kids to do, it helps decrease violence, decrease substance use," she said.

The summer camp brings in kids together to play games such as soccer, kickball and the occasional water balloon fight.

Yesenia Lopez is the president of Heritage University's Enactus club and they came by to teach kids about business and what it takes to start your own.

"It's pretty amazing. Each kid brings something different to the table and some of the kids might know what a profit is and some might not," Lopez said.

While the concepts of starting a business might be too complex for kids in elementary school to understand, soon-to-be fifth grader Ricky got the general idea of what it took.

"How you get money from college and if you stay in there for a long time you get paid a lot of money," he said.

The summer camp will include a tour of Pacific Northwest University and classes on nutrition from Washington State University programs.

Krolikowski said having these organizations come in to present lets the kids see what is going on in their community.

"It's huge to see what exists in your community and it helps create sense of purpose with kids," she said.

The program goes on until August so there is more than enough time to have your kids get involved.

About 60 children from second to eighth grade have enrolled in this summer’s afternoon program at the park. The sessions at Loudon park are running from 2 to 5 p.m. each Monday through Friday from July 5 to August 10.

Most of the attending children are students from the Union Gap School District, with other participants coming from schools in Yakima and Wapato.

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