The savings from the grant will be passed on to families, said Gaukler.
According to Gaukler, a typical cost of a day at a Parks and Recreation camp is $40, especially during the pandemic when additional staff may be required as other staff are asked to quarantine, in addition to reduced capacity and lower kid-to-staff ratios.
“What we will be able to do with this grant is pass on at least half of that value per day,” Gaukler said. “So $20 per day per child, and the ability for qualifying families to pay as little as $2 per day.”
Parks and Rec said in the grant proposal that the department “will work closely with families to ensure no child is turned away.” The department also offers a scholarship program, serving families at or below the federal poverty level to those who earn 225% of the federal poverty level.
The program fee scale will start at 60% of regular program fees, and be further reduced by 50%, 75%, and up to 100%, or $0 fee, depending on need, according to the grant contract.
The grants go through December 31 of this year, and Gaukler said there’s no word yet on whether the city will be able to renew them.
City Council President Bryan Von Lossberg said he felt the city and Parks and Rec are “particularly ready to act on this opportunity in large part because of that work that had gone on around the community center idea” at Lowell Elementary. Von Lossberg also thanked the school’s principal, Barbara Frank, who has reached out to community partners to find ways to create and fund the community center.
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