Education and Leadership


Columbus Recreation and Parks offers two programs that focus on educational and leadership development. Capital Kids is designed to bolster kids’ academic achievement, and City Leaders is designed to develop the future leaders of Columbus.

Read more about the programs below.

If you are interested in Captial Kids or City Leaders, please contact us.

Capital Kids

Capital Kids is an after-school enrichment program for children in grades K–5. Our trained staff take a comprehensive approach, leveraging state-of-the-art technology, field trips and high-performance standards to bolster your child’s academic achievement. The program is currently offered at four community centers in high-risk neighborhoods, as identified by Columbus City Schools.

We are proud to offer low-cost programs to fit any budget. Our main after-school program is $75 per academic school year. Our 8-week summer camp is $100 and our 1-week spring camp is $55.

Financial assistance is also available to qualified applicants through our PLAY Scholarship Fund.

Capital Kids Summer Camp 2022

Apply Here


Academic Support
Includes homework help, integrating with school learning plans and participating in school parent/teacher conferences.

Includes a free hot meal and/or snack at the program site.

Enrichment Opportunities
Includes activities such as cooking, gardening, art, fitness, and Girl and Boy Scouts.

Includes anger management, substance abuse and violence prevention, anti-bullying and peer mediation.

Recreation and Socialization
Includes activities such as ball games, board games and outdoor play.

Family Involvement
Includes family activities, referrals to resources and ongoing communication; parents are encouraged to volunteer with the program.


Learn More

Summer Camps

Grades K-5

Campers enjoy a summer of fun, creativity and learning in a safe environment. Days are filled with a variety of activities including computer lab, reading, academic assistance, research projects, gardening, swimming, presentation, field trips and recreational activities. Meals and snacks are provided daily.

Applications will be available online or at any of our community centers. Priority is given to youth who are currently enrolled in the Capital Kids school year program.

Spring Break Camp

Grades K-5

Capital Kids also offers a spring break camp at each of its four sites. Children in grades K-5 enjoy field trips, academic stimulation, life skills development, daily meals and snacks, recreational activities, computer lab and so much more.

Priority is given to youth who are currently enrolled in the Capital Kids school year program. No early drop-off or late pickup.

City Leaders

This nine-month initiative works to develop Columbus’ leaders of tomorrow by providing, hands-on education and mentoring. City Leaders offers an immersive learning experience for participants teaching them about the inner workings of the City of Columbus. In addition to experimental learning opportunities, participants benefit from mentoring by current leaders from within the City of Columbus and local partner organizations.

Applications for the 2022-2023 Program Year are open. All applications should include:

  • A completed application
  • A letter from a teacher or administrator, or a community leader
  • Two written essays
  • Interviews with the program coordinator(s)
Apply Today

Program Requirements

  • Must be a city of Columbus resident (if you currently receive City of Columbus trash/recycling services, you are eligible)
  • NEW! Entering the 6th-9th grade in Fall  2022
  • NEW! Must maintain a 2.80 grade point average; an updated grade card must be submitted each grading period
  • NEW! After graduation, serve twice as a peer mentor to the incoming class
  • Only one child per household is eligible each year

2022-2023 Schedule

The program year runs through May 2023. Participation is imperative and youth cannot miss more than two school year meet ups, or they will not be able to graduate. Check your calendars before applying.

  • Applications open: April 1, 2022
  • Applications due: 5 p.m. June 17, 2022
  • Notified of selection: July 8, 2022
  • Mandatory Orientation: July 16, 2022
  • Mandatory Boot Camp: Aug. 8-12, 2022
  • School year meet up: Every third Saturday (in person or virtual)
  • Graduation: May 20, 2023

Save the Date!

City Leaders Academy Fundraising Brunch & Graduation Ceremony

Join us for the City Leaders Academy Fundraising Brunch and Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony. Help celebrate  our 10th anniversary and honor Ms. Fran Frazier & Ms. Jill Frost with the City Leaders Torch Award.

Saturday, May 21, 2022
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Champions Golf Course
3900 Westerville Road, 43224
Tickets are $35 per person

Contact Sheri-Lynn Wynn at or 614-328-6166 for more information.