Council Update: Summer camp goes virtual with funding from CSC
Last summer, scholarships from Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County helped almost 4,000 children attend summer camp. Another 2,000 to 3,000 children attended full-day care at child care sites, through the Early Learning Coalition. But this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused parents, providers and the whole child care/camp community to re-think summer.
In response, Prime Time Palm Beach County has re-imagined its model for high-quality summer programming to serve children virtually and help in-person sites and camps that are adhering to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (including reduced capacity and lower staff-to-child ratios). To assist with that change, the Council has approved Prime Time to redirect up to $50,000 of its previously contracted funds for summer camp content creation.
Amid the current uncertainty, local leaders are determining the capacity of traditional summer camps – and whether they’ll be virtual, in-person or a combination of both. (Click here for the current list of local camps that are participating in the Summer Camp Scholarship Program). While that assessment takes place, Prime Time has taken a multi-pronged approach to summer camp to ensure healthy and safe activities are available to all Palm Beach County children.
That work includes:
• Creating a centralized Expanded Learning Resource Portal, available June 8, for professionals and families to access online, camp-related content – like arts and music, science and STEM, wellness and fitness, reading and circle time
• Providing professional development support to those working with youth
• Using Google Classroom to maintain daily activity schedules for youth
Content will be multi-lingual and updated weekly.
In other business
COVID-19 Funding: To date, CSC has provided more than $500,000 in funding to nonprofits through the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Application. That money has helped local organizations stay afloat at a time when families need them most for food, basic necessities, counseling and other direct services. In all, local nonprofits have requested more than $23.5 million – submitting more than 450 applications – to the communitywide application process, which is supported by CSC and eight other community funders. Collectively, the funding partners have provided more than $4.3 million to local nonprofits.
Mobile Summer BreakSpot: The Council approved $30,000 per year for three years to support the United Way of Palm Beach County’s Mobile Summer BreakSpot Program. The program, which is part of United Way’s Hunger Relief Initiative, brings meals to communities where a large population of children are food insecure. Meals are provide outside the school setting – after school, on weekends and during the summer. The funding will allow the program to continue in the Glades and expand to Greenacres.
Palm Beach County Food Bank: In the month of April, the Palm Beach County Food Bank – with additional funding from the Council and other local supporters – responded to the COVID-19 crisis by distributing nearly 1 million pounds of food. In a typical, pre-COVID month, the food bank distributed about 480,000 pounds of food. Demand increased exponentially, however, because of the toll the pandemic has taken on the economy.
“We are only able to do this work because of the incredible support from the community – including, consistently, Children’s Services Council,” says Karen Erren, the food bank’s executive director. “THANK YOU SO MUCH.”
About Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
The Council is a local, special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014. For more than 30 years, it has provided leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong.
If you have questions related to Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and/or media inquiries, please contact Shana Cooper, Public Information Officer.