SPOKANE, Wash. - Last summer, the City of Spokane made visiting their swimming pools free for residents with Splash passes and saw attendance increase 61%. City leaders couldn't help but wonder, though, what about the kids that couldn't get there because mom and dad couldn't drive them?
“If you are a working mom, here's the thing. Your kids might not be able to get to all the cool things available to them in the summer time, but if you are comfortable having them ride the bus, they can now get there," said City of Spokane spokeswoman Marlene Feist.
Today, the Spokane Youth Card was launched thanks to the City, along with Spokane Public Libraries, Spokane Public Schools and the Spokane Transit Authority. The pilot program aims to get Spokane school kids from point a to point b this summer.
Students (grades kindergarten through twelve) can get their hands on a Spokane Youth Card at any public library by presenting either their Spokane Schools ID or their Spokane library card. Thousands of the cards have already been produced and are waiting at the libraries... and more are on the way!
Once your child picks up their card, Spokane Youth Card partners recommend going over the bus system with them. On the Spokane Transit Authority website, passengers are able to map out their route – from where they can catch the bus, to what time it leaves and the precise time they'll arrive.
On a weekend or after work, ride the route with them, but let them know some bus drivers make take a different route than others and not to get nervous. If they are concerned they've missed their stop, they can talk to the bus driver or download an app to their phone like “Transit Tracker Spokane,” where they can monitor the stops their bus is making.
Unlimited rides can take the kids where they need to get to, but the City has posted some suggestions that are free, fun and healthy!
-Spokane Public Pools where they can cool off for free – or a splash pad!
-Spokane skate parks for some skateboarding
-Local parks, like Riverfront Park where they can grab lunch at the weekly food truck festivals, take in a concert or play at a mobile rec center that's been set up inside the park
-Numerica Skate Ribbon – with the Spokane Youth Card, kids can get free skate rentals
-Spokane Public Libraries – their summer reading program has over 75 STEM-focused activities inclding Escape Rooms for teens
For more on the Spokane Youth Card, click here.
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