Summer Camp Funding

Federal Sequester Threatens Summer Camp for WPB Kids

Clock is Ticking For Families To Get Help Elsewhere

April 1, 2013

(West Palm Beach, FL) – Every year, hundreds of children in West Palm Beach and as many as thousands across Palm Beach County attend summer camp programs only thanks to help from the Federal government.

This summer, those kids could find themselves out on the streets, victims of the Federal government sequestration.

Officials in the City of West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Department, who run the city’s summer camp programs, were notified late last week that federal funding for kids living in the city’s public housing will not be available for camps this summer. The cuts affect hundreds of kids in the city that would have been eligible for the funding, as well as additional children across the county.

“There are countless families that rely on those federal dollars in order to keep their kids safe during the summer,” said Leah Rockwell, Assistant Director of the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation. “There are so many families that need help to send their kids to camp, and now a major source of that help has disappeared.”

With federal dollars now falling victim to the sequester, Rockwell says it’s even more important for families to take advantage of other sources of assistance.

Applications for the county Summer Camp Scholarship Program are now available at any of the City of West Palm Beach community centers, as well as at West Palm Beach City Hall.

You can also click here to download an application.

But filling out the application is only part of the process, and Rockwell says often it is the second part of the process where families fail to follow through. Each year there are families that do not show up for their mandatory in-person appointment to receive the funding.  The result is a forfeiture of dollars that could have gone towards paying for their child’s summer camp.

“We will do anything we can to help these families get through the process,” said Rockwell. “Our staff at our community centers will sit and help fill out the application, but these families need to make sure they keep their appointments.”

The deadline to submit an application for the program is Friday, April 19th.

Click here for information on where to bring your COMPLETED application.

Applications for the scholarship can be downloaded here, or picked up in person at the following locations:

Coleman Park Community Center
1116 21st Street; West Palm Beach
Gaines Park Community Center
1501 N. Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach
Howard Park Community Center
1302 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach
South Olive Community Center
345 Summa Street; West Palm Beach
City Hall
Parks and Recreation Administrative Office
401 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach