Wichita Park & Recreation to help families afford summer camp

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A few weeks ago KSN reported that the McAdams pool will be the first of several public pools around Wichita to close, leaving some parents concerned their kids won’t have a place to spend their summers.

The Wichita Park & Recreation Department wants to change that by offering need-based scholarships through the Wichita Parks Foundation to families for the Summer of Discovery camp at the Edgemoor Recreation Center.

The Kansas Department for Children & Families (DCF) will cover the costs for camp for families that qualify, but the City of Wichita sees a need to help middle-income families that still might not afford it.

The camp costs:
$105 per week for the first child;
$95 per week for the second child;
and $85 per week for the third child and any after that.

“That’s a pretty big cost savings to families, especially if they’re wanting, if they have two or three children and they want to attend all 10 weeks of the summer program,” said Stacey Hamm, marketing director for the Wichita Park & Recreation Department.

The scholarship program would fund:
Up to 50 percent of the fees for the first child;
Up to 75 percent for the second child;
and up to 100 percent of the fees for the third child and any children after that.

KSN talked with one mom who believes the program is ideal for working parents and the scholarship is a bonus.

“It’s something they can be active with,” said Alyson Neal. “They’re not just sitting at home. We both work, my husband and I, so that gives them something to do instead of just sitting in the house.”

Neal’s husband works third shift so in the past, he’d have to stay up with the kids until she came home from work.

The couple make enough money to where they don’t qualify for the state to cover summer camp for their two sons, but not enough money to pay for it on their own.

“I think it’s great that they actually thought of families who are like us,” she said. “Who don’t qualify, we’re not low-income, we don’t qualify for a lot of stuff but we also… It’s hard to pay for everything on our own, plus then be able to do this for our kids.”

For more information, click here or send an email to info@wichitaparksfoundation.org