Providence Mayor Elorza announces EAT, PLAY, LEARN Summer campaign

Mayor Elorza Announces EAT, PLAY, LEARN Summer Campaign
City of Providence Kicks Off Summer Meals and Recreation Programming

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today (Wednesday), Mayor Jorge O. Elorza joined Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Wendy Nilsson, Director of the Healthy Communities Office Ellen Cynar, Superintendent of Providence Public Schools Christopher Maher, community partners and residents for the official kick off of the EAT, PLAY, LEARN summer programming campaign. The celebration also included performances by Len Cabral, Keith Munslow and a reading from The Rhode Island Center for the Book. 

"EAT, PLAY, LEARN is a one-stop-shop of engaging summer programming and access to healthy, nutritional summer meals," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "Making sure that our youth are spending their summers participating in outdoor, educational and thoughtful programming means that our students will continue to build upon the strides they make all school year long. By ensuring that these activities are free or low-cost we are making sure that every child has tools they deserve to grow this summer."

EAT, PLAY, LEARN is a partnership between Mayor Jorge Elorza’s Office, the Providence Healthy Communities Office, the Providence Parks Department, the Providence Recreation Department, the Providence Public School District and the Providence Department of Arts, Culture, and Tourism, that increases access to high quality, affordable, and educational summer programs for youth in Providence.


The City of Providence Parks Department, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Education, serves free and nutritious meals to all children and teens, 18 and under through the Summer Meal Program, which ensures children receive healthy meals when school is out. Last summer over 145,000 free summer meals were served to Providence youth at recreation centers, parks and in collaboration with youth based organizations and programming.

“Children need good nutrition all year long,” said Ellen Cynar, Director of the Healthy Communities Office. “The summer meals program is critical to ensuring that Providence youth have the food they need to stay active and healthy when school is out.”

This year, Providence will serve lunches at 33 neighborhood parks, recreation centers, pools and waterparks. Over 4,000 meals will be provided daily to Providence children 18 years of age or younger. Meal service will run July 3 through August 18, Monday through Friday. All City of Providence recreation centers will serve lunches during inclement weather. Times and locations may vary or change, so parents and families should call 2-1-1* to find a summer meal site in their neighborhood. Meals must be eaten on-site.

The City of Providence’s Summer Meals will be served at the following locations and times:

Elmhurst · Valley · Mt. Pleasant
•    Fargnoli Park 12:00pm-2:00pm
Smith Street (Across from 950 Smith St.)
•    George J. West Park 12:15pm-2:15pm 
 Chalkstone/ Mt.Pleasant Avenue
•    Davis Park  11:30am-1:30pm 
700 Chalkstone Avenue
•    O’Brien Park  11:15am-1:15pm
Corner of Regent St./River Avenue
East Side
•    Fox Point Park 11:45am-1:45pm                
 Wickenden Street (Across B/G Club)
•    Billy Taylor Playground 11:30am-1:30pm              
Camp Street (Across 135 Camp St.)
Federal Hill · West End
•    Zuccolo Rec Center  12:15pm-2:15pm
18 Gesler Street
•    Dexter Training Grounds 11:00am-1:00pm
73 Dexter Street
•    Wiggins Village 11:15am-1:15pm
207 Cranston Street
•    Codding Court PHA 11:30am-1:30pm
144 Dodge Street
Charles · Wanskuck · Smith Hill
•    Selim-Rogers Rec Center  12:00pm-2:00pm

60 Camden Avenue
•    General St./Prov Recreation HQ 11:45am-1:45pm
11 West Drive
•    Chad Brown Waterpark 12:15pm-2:15pm               
Chad Brown Street
•    Metcalf Field 11:15am-1:15pm
Across from 200 Hawkins Street
•    Corliss Park 11:00am-1:00pm
30 Corliss Street
South Side
•    Ellery Park 11:00am-1:00pm
Ellery Street (Across 84 Ellery St.)
•    Sackett St Rec Center  12:15pm-2:15pm  
 110 Sackett Street
•    Harriet and Sayles Park 11:45am-1:45pm  
 199 Oxford Street
•    Rollins Rec Center/Pool 12:00pm-2:00pm
674 Prairie Avenue
•    Mattie Smith Playground 11:15am-1:15pm            
Glenham and Taylor Street
•    Pearl Street Playground 11:45am-1:45pm               
Pearl and Providence Street
•    Jennifer Rivera Park 11:30am-1:30pm    
 40 Niagara Street
•    DHS Headquarters 10:45am-12:45pm       
206 Elmwood Avenue
•    Peace and Plenty 11:00am-1:00pm                 
Peace and Updike Street
•    McGrane Pool (Bucklin Rec Center) 12:15pm-2:15pm
404 Dexter Street
•    Davey Lopes Rec Center 12:00pm-2:00pm
227 Dudley Street
Olneyville · Hartford ·Silver Lake
•    Riverside Park 11:15am-1:15pm

50 Aleppo Street
•    Donigian Park 10:45am-12:45pm
Valley Street
•    Hartford Park 11:00am-1:00pm
Across 300 Hartford Avenue
•    Joslin Park & Rec Center 11:30am-1:30pm
 17 Hyat Street
•    Neutaconkanut Rec Center 11:45am-1:45pm        
675 Plainfield Street
•    Manton Heights 12:30pm-2:00pm
21 Salmon Street
•    Wallace Street Park 12:00pm-2:00pm
Corner of Wallace and Cumerford


As part of the EAT, PLAY, LEARN series Mayor Elorza joined recreation centers last month to kick off registration for Providence summer recreation opportunities. This year, the City is offering numerous affordable camp opportunities for Providence youth including sports, day, and specialty education camps. Providence Recreation will provide nine (9) weekly sports camps ranging from basketball to golf, day camps at nine (9) recreation centers offering a variety of fun activities and field trips, and five (5) specialty camps with a focus on sailing, creative arts, nature, music and dance, and biking. 

“Play is an essential component for healthy and happy children. We are excited to provide so many opportunities for children and families to explore our vast network of parks and recreation facilities and play all summer long,” added Wendy Nilsson, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. 

In addition to recreational programming, Providence residents are encouraged to explore Providence Parks through PlayCorps, Fitness in the Parks, the Park Finder and the Celebrate Providence! 2017 Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative


In March, Mayor Elorza announced expanded summer learning opportunities for Providence students. The City of Providence partnered with the Providence Public School District (PPSD), Breakthrough Providence, The BELL (Building Education Leaders for Life) Foundation, PASA (Providence After School Alliance), Generation Teach to increase access to year round learning opportunities. In collaboration with the Providence Community Library, all children who attend Providence Recreation Camps will participate in literacy programming to help enhance reading skills. Last year, 84,460 minutes were read by the 199 participants with a goal to engage even more students this year. Students are encouraged to use the Passport to Summer Learning they received in school, or download their own, to track their summer reading. 

In addition to summer learning, Mayor Elorza believes that summer employment is critical to building skills and ensuring job readiness. This City is offering 1,200 jobs to Providence youth, double the amount offered in 2016. Employment opportunities from partner programs are still available

More information on summer meals, recreation opportunities and park programming can be found at For questions, contact the Mayor’s Center for City Services at City Hall by dialing 3-1-1 or by downloading the PVD311 mobile application now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

(release from City of Providence)