Ticonderoga will have a youth recreation program this summer. The program, which served about 200 children each year, was victim of budget cuts a year ago. The 2013 program will be self-sufficient, according to Dave Iuliano, Ti trustee. It will not cost local taxpayers.
Ticonderoga will have a youth recreation program this summer.
The program, which served about 200 children each year, was victim of budget cuts a year ago. The 2013 program will be self-sufficient, according to Dave Iuliano, Ti trustee. It will not cost local taxpayers.
The cost of the program, which is due at registration, is $10 a day for each child. Children who are entering kindergarten through age 13 can attend up to five days a week 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 8 through Aug. 2 at Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School. Scholarships are available to low-income families.
The town needs $20,000 to operate the summer program — that’s 100 children at $50 a week ($10 a day).
“We’ve had a healthy number of pre-registrations and strong success raising money for a scholarship fund,” said John Bartlett of the Ti Kiwanis, who are assisting with the program. “The program is going forward.”
Registration will continue until Monday, July 1. Parents can register children at the town clerk’s office. There will also be a registration night Monday, June 24, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Armory. People can also register by mailing payment to the Ti town clerk at PO Box 471, Ticonderoga 12883.
Scholarships are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarship information is available at the town clerk’s office.
For information call the town clerk’s office at 585-6677.
The summer program is crucial, Iuliano said, because by holding organized recreational and educational activities the town becomes eligible for the federal USDA breakfast and lunch program.
That program provides free breakfast, lunch and snack to all children age 18 and younger in the community. The breakfast and lunch program is not limited to children attending the rec program and there are no income limitations.
Breakfast will be served 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. with lunch 11:15 a.m. to noon.
The recreation program will offer swimming, sports, arts and crafts, games, bowling, Arts Trek and more, according to Angie MacAlpine, the program director. It will be certified by the state.
“It’ll be similar to the program we’ve had in past years,” she said. “I think it’s a real bargain for parents. Babysitting, supervised activities, breakfast and lunch for $10 a day.”
The key is the free breakfast, lunch and snack program, Iuliano said.
“The food program is a big part this,” he said. “It’s so important to make certain children have access to food.”
Childhood hunger and poverty has become an issue in Ticonderoga. Nearly half the local school population qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches and almost 20 percent of Ticonderoga children live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census.
“The summer program is great,” Bartlett said, “ but the driving force here is getting the food service available to our children. It’s really a great program that can really help struggling families.”
Iuliano has been working with Bartlett on the Kiwanis’ “BackPack” program. That effort works closely with Ticonderoga Central Schools to send needy children from Ticonderoga Elementary School home for the weekends with backpacks filled with nutritious, shelf-stable and easily prepared foods.
“This is a way to address a serious problem in the community,” Bartlett said of the USDA free summer breakfast and lunch program. “The food program is free, but we must have a recreation program to qualify.”
Bartlett suggested local civic groups, churches and individuals may like to sponsor a child in the program. If so, they can contact the town clerk’s office at 585-6677.