For many children of color and children from low-income families in Philadelphia, Ice Skating lessons is something seen as foreign or unaffordable. Many have never set foot on an ice skating rink or viewed the sport as something too expensive or out of their league. Scanlon Figure Skating, in the Kensington area of the city, is changing that.
Together with the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, Scanlon Figure Skating has recently announced the opening of a new program that will bring affordable, safe, and fun ice skating lessons to kids in the city thus making the sport accessible to the underserved and poverty-stricken populations in the city.
As told to Fox 29,”Kids across the city don’t get on the ice a lot, especially kids of color, so to get them involved in skating, whether it’s through hockey or figure skating, or just learning to skate, it’s a big deal,” Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Rec, Bill Salvatore, said.
The new program is a part of the Learn To Skate initiative in the city and for only $5.00 kids can enjoy 45 minute skating sessions with coaches at the rink. Learn to Skate Coordinator, Sultana Muhammad, commented, “Allows the children to have something constructive to do to stay off the street, stay busy, get off the computers, off the phones and use their bodies.
Michelle Shaw runs the program at Scanlon and says the low-cost sessions truly make a difference in the lives of families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford ice skating lessons and it also bridges the disparity of skaters by making the community more diverse.
Beginner lessons, held every Saturday at 3:15 p.m, are open to anyone and cost just $5. For more experienced skaters, there are advanced lessons later in the afternoon for $7. The program is open to individuals of all skill levels and extends to all five city rinks. To learn more about this program you can visit the city’s website here. For a list of participating rinks as well as free ice skating lessons, you can also learn more by visiting the website here.