The Latino Community Association (LCA) encourages parents of Latino youth under 18 to sign their kids up for any summer activity that will benefit their wellbeing. Thanks to a special grant, LCA is offering to pay the fees for youth in Deschutes, Crook or Jefferson counties to take swim lessons, attend music, art or science classes, join a sports team, or go to summer camp.
Any program is eligible as long as it is organized and gets youth outdoors or active, or helps them get mentally prepared for school in the fall. Families can either have the fees paid to the activity provider up-front or get reimbursed by LCA.
The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) gave LCA a grant of $31,992 for fee scholarships and another $13,000 to hire a program assistant. Rotary Club of Greater Bend contributed $2,500 and the Bend Education Association gave $1,000.
“Providing opportunities to gather, learn, and laugh together after this past year of uncertainty is critical to the social and emotional health of our children,” said Belle Cantor, senior program officer for Education at OCF. The foundation allocated $40 million state-wide for community organizations to provide summer enrichment activities for K-12-aged students
“We know there are a lot of activities offered for kids in summer and that often there is a significant fee,” said LCA Executive Director Brad Porterfield. “It just makes good sense to help families access what is already in place first.”
As summer progresses, however, many activities are now full or being offered at no cost. In response, LCA will organize a few activities to make sure youth from immigrant families can participate fully this summer.
To apply for funds to cover activity fees or to sign up for LCA’s upcoming activities, call 541-728-4708 or 541-788-0473.