Summer fun, events and different activities are planned in the Huron Valley community to help keep area youth busy and active when school is out.

Connecting mind, body and spirit is the aim of a healthy summer initiative from the Huron Valley Community Coalition – the second year of such programming to help provide positive experiences for kids. Project Coordinator Jordyn Najduk tells WHMI their main mission is to reduce and prevent youth substance use by offering positive, alternative activities but also embracing the entire community to come together to help provide safe and healthy alternatives for kids. She says this marks the second year of their “Healthy Summer” initiative with various partners and activities are planned in June, July and August to help alleviate summer boredom for youth. The local non-profit predominately serves the Milford, Highland Township and White Lake areas but Najduk says they also have some families that drive in from Hartland Township and other surrounding school districts. Najduk says middle and high school students are their target populations to work with to try and get them on the right track – noting there’s not a lot available in the community for kids to do but especially for middle schoolers. She tells WHMI they’re trying to do something every other week depending on their partner schedules and build momentum to give kids something to look forward to throughout the entire summer –when the infamous “I’m bored” starts setting in.

The theme is connecting mind, body and spirit. Najduk says they wanted to make sure they were incorporating some physical activities, art to help focus on mental illness and some stress relievers but also making sure that they’re connecting the spirit of the community. Among the upcoming events will be different painting and art classes, and a Comic Con event at the Highland Township Public Library. A kayaking trip down the Huron River is planned this weekend that will launch from Milford with 16 kids going and Najduk says many have never been before. She says the Coalition has partnered with The SHAC in Milford to provide three upcoming art classes and kids will learn how to paint, work with abstract pastels and other intricate designs with markers that are relaxing but also a great stress reliever.

The Coalition is also supporting other summer programs through partnerships. The #HVS Reads is a Huron valley Schools program that provides free books to youth at community events and elsewhere. Nearly 1,500 books were distributed last summer. The Coalition is also supporting Huron Valley Pools and Fitness Family Fun Nights at Lakeland High School to be held July 12th and August 2nd; and at Milford High School on July 26th and August 23rd. Affordable rates are being offered so that families can access open gyms and pools from noon to 8:30pm on those designated Fridays. While the events are free, registration is required as space is limited for some activities. Details and registration information can be found on the Coalition’s website. That link is provided. (JM)