Public Funding Assists Summer Fun

Summer scholarships for city recreation programs could help more kids have more fun outside.

Ben Maren is a Lead Kayak Instructor for the City of Eugene’s recreation programs.

Summer is here and that means the City of Eugene Recreation Services will be starting classes and camps. While these programs are subsidized by the city not all families can afford to have their children take advantage of these services. Eugene does offer a scholarship program that can pay up to 75 percent of a programs cost not to exceed $150 for the year. This translates into three or four all day activities or a dozen smaller events.

With Eugene’s median family income below that of the national average and unemployment fluctuating between 9 and 10 percent, these scholarships can mean a lot to struggling families.

Ben Maren, a lead kayak instructor for the city, says he has never had a child turned away for financial reasons, but is unsure if everyone who would benefit from these scholarships is aware of their existence.

Currently, Recreation Services are gearing up for the summer season. The department offers lessons in sailing, kayaking, and hiking and puts on events like the Mad Duckling Theater (where the University of Oregon’s theater program will perform Pinocchio and Puss-in-boots this July) and the All-Comers Track Meet (An open invitation track meet sponsored by the Oregon Track Club). They also have classes in baby-sitting certification, self-defense, and crafts like pottery.

Some programs like the Summer Family Fun Nights at Petersen Barn described in the catalogue as, “don’t want to make dinner? Once a month, this event at Petersen Barn will take that load off of your shoulders. Bring family, friends, and neighbors to a Summer Family Fun Night. Dinner, crafts, games, and more all provided,” are completely free and do not require registration.

Summer programs and the scholarship program are available to adults as well as children. The department prints booklets and has an online catalog of events at http://www.eugene-or.gov/. The catalog can be found under current residents/recreation services and lists the appropriate age groups for events as well as prices. The web site also contains an events calendar, information on working for Recreation Services, and volunteer opportunities.

More information on the Scholarship applications can be found on the same website or you can call Sarah at (541)682-6379. Applications are accepted June 1 through December 31,2011 for funds applied from July 1, 2011 through June 30th, 2012. All City of Eugene Resident’s are welcome to apply.

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