• Thu. Jun 23rd, 2022

Youth summer program reassessed due to high gas prices

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Jun 9, 2022

CINCINNATI — Transportation for students at a Westwood summer program hangs in the balance as group staff scramble to find a budget to meet rising gas costs.

The Cincinnati Urban Promise summer enrichment camp begins next week and camp leaders say they are reassessing field trips and whether they can offer rides to and from camp for students who live in a radius of three miles from the establishment.

“We will have children as young as two and a half and children as old as 6 in our program,” head teacher Erin Grasty said. “We’ll have the school-age children on the other side.”

Over 150 students are expected to fill the camp which features arts and crafts, STEM activities and two meals a day.

“We normally charge a dollar a week per student and that normally covers our gas bill for the summer,” said Abe Brandyberry, executive director of the camp. “We expect to pay probably close to $400 a week for gas.”

Brandyberry said most parents either didn’t have a vehicle or had limited transportation. If transportation is completely cut, Brandyberry says kids will miss more than fun activities.

“Our program helps fill that gap during the summer months when students don’t have access to their school lunch,” he said.

Brandyberry has been trying to find more money for the program, but fears a lack of donors and a continued rise in gas prices could bleed beyond the summer months and lead to greater transportation cuts.

“We want our kids to be able to have a safe place provided for them,” Brandyberry said. “It’s really kind of an essential service in our community.”

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