ANDOVER — Kaleidoscope Kids Director Janis Baron said she has made the difficult decision not to operate her nonprofit, instructional summer program out of the Pike School this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I knew in my heart there was no way we could provide a safe, enriching program for the kids,” she said.
At the time she made the decision, it was still unclear when Gov. Charlie Baker would allow such summer camps and day care centers to operate as part of his phased reopening process.
“This decision was made well before we even knew the children were at risk,” said Baron, referencing recent revelations that youngsters may be at higher risk of the virus than believed.
Initially, health officials believed children rarely would be seriously affected by the coronavirus. Over the past few weeks, however, officials have reported that some children who tested positive for COVID-19 are getting something akin to Kawasaki disease, a condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels and can result in serious heart problems.
Baron said there's no way she can effectively hold her course offerings, which include domino physics and circus acrobatics, remotely.
“This was just looking at the big picture and saying we can’t go online,” Baron said.
Baron said the parents of the 400 campers who were enrolled for this summer have either been refunded or credited for next year, when the camp is expected to reopen.
“We are a hands-on program," she said. "This was the 40th anniversary. This was supposed to be a big year for us.”