Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The staff at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County (CBHC) would agree with Malcolm because everything it does is to make sure children from Hillsborough County have every opportunity to prepare them for a bright future. CBHC’s mission is to invest in partnerships and quality programs to support the success of all children and families in Hillsborough County.
“We have seven Children’s Board Family Resource Centers throughout Hillsborough County,” said CBHC’s Public Relations Manager Dexter Lewis. “We offer a lot of preventative and free services for families, like our mobile medical clinic, dental clinic and play groups for children.”
One of the other free programs CBHC offers is its Summer Passport Program, which allows families currently enrolled at any Children’s Board Family Resource Center to register to be a part of one or two weeks of day camp at Glazer Children’s Museum, the Straz Center, MOSI, Tampa Museum of Art, ZooTampa or The Florida Aquarium.
“This was a pilot program we started in the summer of 2019,” Lewis said.
CBHC surveyed 320 parents about what their needs were for summer.
“From the surveys, we found out that only 17 percent of their children participated in camp last summer,” Lewis said, “We realized there was a gap, so we talked to local attractions and we were able to offer an opportunity to our enrolled families.”
Registration is currently full for the 2020 Summer Passport Program, but CBHC is currently working on expanding the Summer Passport Program for 2021. It encourages families to become members of a Children’s Board Family Resource Center, at no cost to families, so that next year their children may have an opportunity to enroll in the Summer Passport Program.
CBCH funds many other fun camps and programs for the summer.
“This will be our sixth year of offering community-based summer enrichment programs to families with children ages 6-14,” Lewis said. “My hope is to make sure all of the children in Hillsborough County have equal opportunity to be able to experience STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming during the summer.”
To learn more about the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and its many free programs, visit childrensboard.org or call 229-2884. CBHC is located at 1002 E. Palm Ave. in Tampa.