Boynton Beach - Summer should be an exciting time for children. But too many spend their days bored, lonely or in unsafe environments because their families can’t afford camp.
That’s why Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County has upped its commitment to funding summer camp scholarships this year. Children’s Services Council announced at its May 25 meeting that it will spend up to $2.2 million so more than 2,400 children can attend quality camps in Palm Beach County. Among those receiving scholarships are children in foster care and children involved in the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice system.
Applications for the scholarships are now closed.
The scholarships are administered by the Friends of Community Service, which is housed in the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department. To be eligible, families need to be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a family of four, that’s about $36,900 a year.
Children’s Services Council has increased its funding for summer camp scholarships by about $900,000 within the last two years. Funding jumped from $1.3 million to $1.7 million in 2016 and then increased this year by another $500,000.
“These scholarships make a difference in the lives of families,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, the Council’s CEO. “Children are able to have fun and learn, while parents are able to know that their children are supervised and safe.”
Families are able to choose from more than 80 camps in Palm Beach County, including 21 camps that emphasize reading and math and employ certified teachers.