As winter settles in, family activities likely are to include shoveling snow and building snowmen.

But even in the season of parkas and snow boots, many families are making their plans for shorts season.

"Many parents during the winter are already looking into programs, camps and activities their children can participate in during the summer," said Jamie Lusher, chief academic officer with Grandview Heights Schools.

"If you're a parent with two or three or four children, that's a lot of planning you need to do," she said.

For the fourth year, Grandview Heights Schools will offer a winter resource to help parents in the Tri-Village area plan enriching summer activities for their children.

The district will host the Summer Enrichment Opportunity Expo from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 in the gym at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School, 1240 Oakland Ave.

"That may seem early, but we hear from parents wondering if we can hold the expo in January," Lusher said. "We'd love to do that, but the problem is many organizations don't have their brochures about their summer programs ready that early. I'm helping to organize our Camp Invention for this summer, and we're still finalizing all the details."

Parents will be able to talk to representatives and get information from more than 20 community organizations at the expo, she said.

Participating organizations will include the Thurber House, Grandview Kids Club, Columbus School for Girls, the Wellington School, Grandview Parks and Recreation and the Spot Athletics, Lusher said.

"We try to make this a resource not just for Grandview families, but for people in Marble Cliff and Upper Arlington, too," she said. "It's sort of one-stop shopping for local summer activities."

The district is reaching out to organizations in the Grandview and Upper Arlington area to invite their participation in the event, Lusher said.

Any local organization or business interested in participating in the expo may email Lusher at jamie.lusher @ghcsd.org,

While students will be on vacation from school during the summer, it's still important to find activities to keep them engaged and sharp for the next school year, Lusher said.

"The research shows that students can experience a regression or a 'summer dip' if they don't stay engaged during their summer vacation," she said. "If they do regress, they have to spend time at the beginning of the school year just catching back up."

Programs such as the Summer Reading Club at the Grandview Heights Public Library or the school district's Camp Invention are fun ways children can keep learning away from school, Lusher said.

Camp Invention, which is held each June, is a weeklong camp featuring activities relating to science, technology, engineering and math.

Grandview Parks and Recreation plans to offer the Camp COSI program again this summer, parks and recreation Director Mike Patterson said.

The five-day camp offers a variety of hands-on activities exploring various fields of science for children in grades K-5.

The parks department plans recreational activities throughout the summer that are designed to help keep youngsters' bodies and minds sharp, Patterson said.

"They're learning by playing; that's one way children learn," he said.

"By taking part in a recreational program, they're learning teamwork and sportsmanship and gaining self-confidence" that will help them in school and life, Patterson said.

"We try to schedule programs to fill the void when other programs like the kids club are not meeting," he said. "We do that throughout the year to give parents an option for their students when school is not in session, during spring break, winter break or when the schools are only having a four-day week of classes."

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman