School is out for summer and programs to keep children entertained have begun.

There's many different summer programs that parents and children can take advantage of, for free, all summer long. 

The Erie Center for Arts and Technology or ECAT, summer program kicked off on Monday.

Ceasar Westbrook, a board member for ECAT said, "Instead of the kids being at home and getting into something you aren't aware of, they are here, they are in a safe environment, they are around good peers, potential classmates and they are also here learning and they are bettering themselves and educating themselves."

For the next two weeks, middle school students can learn everything from sculpting to animation and photography all for free.

Another benefits of ECAT's summer program is its location, located on Erie's east side, this gives parents another option for things for their children to do, close to home.
As Westbrook explained, "Lower east side, Erie PA, just for the dynamic of what we offer feel like the location, really extends to everybody."

Meantime, the YMCA partnered with non profits this summer to help provide free meals to kids all through the county five days a week.

"The county of Erie really has a number of what's called "food deserts" and these are pockets in our community where kids don't have readily available access to fresh and nutritious foods. So we are partnering with different nonprofits throughout the county to offer free summer lunch", said Tammy Roche, The Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Erie.

Twenty children got a free meal during their camp at the Neighborhood Art House on Monday, for some, this could be a meal their family's might not be able to afford.

"We are in a time of inflation and rising grocery store prices make choices harder for families so we're here we feel happy we can do it and it's very rewarding", said Roche.

You can still register for the free summer program at ECAT for this session and other sessions, you can learn more information here. 

For more information on the YMCA's summer programs or free meals for kids, click here.