Parents wait overnight to register for popular Summer Fun program in Manoa

Registration doesn’t open until Saturday, but parents are already lining up to get their kids into the popular Summer Fun program in Manoa.

The beach chairs are set and the wait is on as dozens of parents settle in for a night of waiting in line.

The program costs around $100 per child for a two-month program, which is open to kids who have finished kindergarten but have not entered 7th grade.

It’s one of the best deals in town, so spots fill up fast, and it’s first come, first served.

But this year, construction at Manoa Valley District Park means no swimming pool, and even the gym is being worked on.

Cherish Aquino was the first in line. She and her husband have been taking shifts since 5:45 a.m.

“We heard that to be prepared, a lot of people in the past have come like really early, so we were kind of afraid we weren’t going to have a spot, so we decided to just prepare and come early,” she said.

The program offers parents around the island an affordable childcare option with activities, sports, and games offered every day.

“My son really enjoys the program,” said James Barlos, who has been in line since 9 a.m. “He loves hanging out with his friends all summer. It’s a chance for him to just be with his friends and two different programs all day long, and it’s competitive. As you can see, there’s a line. My wife got here at nine in the morning and I came to relieve her.”

As parents wait in line, they do so in the shadow of construction which began in February. The project’s goal is to fix a decades-old gym roof, and the project is slated to be finished by the end of the summer.

We asked Michele Nekota, director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation, whether the construction will affect this year’s Summer Fun activities.

“Summer fun this year will not be affected by the construction of course, because we will basically be able to do all of the different activities that we normally do — arts and crafts, games, and sports — and a lot of different outdoor activities that we do as well as field trips, so it’s not going to impact our Summer Fun,” she replied.

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