CINCINNATI — Transportation for students at a Westwood summer program hangs in the balance as the group's staff scramble to find a budget to afford the rising cost of gas.
The Cincinnati Urban Promise summer enrichment camp begins next week and camp leaders say they are reevaluating field trips and if they can offer rides to and from the camp for students who live within a three mile radius of the facility.
“We will have kids as young as two and a half and kids as old as 6 in our program,” said lead teacher Erin Grasty. “We will have the school age kids over on the other side.”
More than 150 students are expected to fill up the camp that offers 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're expecting to be paying probably close to $400 a week for gas.”
Brandyberry said most of the parents don’t have vehicles or their transportation is limited. If transportation is cut all together, Brandyberry says the kids will miss out on more than just fun activities.
“Our program helps fill that gap during those summer months where 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 continuously rising gas prices could bleed beyond the summer months and cause bigger transportation cuts.
“We want our kids to be able to have a safe place that they are provided for,” Brandyberry said. “It really is kind of an essential service in our community.”
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