Summer Youth Program
Local children had a fun-filled day at Calaway Park in Calgary on August 1st as part of the Delburne Summer Youth Program. We had 7 youth go on the trip however we were hoping for a minimum of 20 participants to make it worthwhile for the cost of transportation. Despite the low numbers in registration, the outing went forward to ensure that at least one experience took place for this year’s Summer Youth Program.
The program fee to go to Calaway Park was $25 each which provided a discounted gate fee and transportation. The cost of bussing was funded through the program and registration subsidies were available for qualified participants. A day at Calaway Park ended up being the lone event in this year’s Summer Youth Program. Another trip was booked for July 19th to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, but due to only 2 children registered, the event was cancelled.
The Delburne Summer Youth Program has been providing children ages 6 and up with the opportunity to participate in activities that support learning, physical activity, the building of social skills and self-empowerment during the summer months. In previous years, 2 summer students, a Coordinator and an Assistant, were hired to organize activities and field trips. The Summer Youth Program was restructured this year to only two out of town field trips as a result of many challenges: a decrease in grant funding, a lack of eligible applicants and a shortage of parent feedback.
There was a significant reduction in the Canada Summer Jobs Grant funding. For the past 10 years the program has operated with an annual budget of approximately $20,000.00/yr. Government grants covered 50% of that cost which allowed us to hire the 2 summer students. That changed for 2018 as the grant would only cover 15% of wages. Along with the decrease in grant funding, there was a decline in eligible applicants for the Coordinator position. In the last 5 years, we have received just one or two resumes per year for the role. This summer only one applicant applied for the Coordinator position and unfortunately they did not meet the grant requirements of being a current student.
Input from the community is important to help shape the Summer Youth Program. In 2017, a parent survey was presented online and as paper handout to gather information on what activities and attractions should be offered. Only 13 people responded. In May 2018, parent surveys were sent out asking for feedback for this year’s program. Only 3 surveys were filled out and returned.
Due to all of these factors that was why the decision was made to reduce the program to two out of town field trips. It was disappointing that registration was low and that only 1 out of the 2 trips took place. We would like to see more involvement and opinions from the community.
Please feel free to provide your feedback by emailing email@example.com or by calling 403.749.3654