As part of its strategic commitment to "support organizations that provide food, clothing, shelter, counseling and educational assistance to at-risk and needy children and adults of Fairfield County," the Bridgeport-based Inner-City Foundation For Charity & Education awarded $7,500 to Person-to-Person for its 2013 Campership Program.
As noted by Executive Director Richard T. Stone in the award letter, "In this challenging economic climate, the foundation is receiving requests for funding that far exceed its financial capabilities. It is an extremely difficult task to select projects to be funded from among the many worthy causes that seek our aid."
P2P members said they are grateful for the grant.
"Now in its 45th year, the Campership Program is one of our most important and successful programs," P2P Director of Social Services Marina Thomas said. "For low-income families living in Stamford, this program provides something that otherwise would be unattainable for parents: having their children spend the summer in a safe, supervised and supportive environment."
Remarking that summer camp is a positive youth education and development opportunity for all children, Thomas said that for children from low-income families, in particular, summer is otherwise a time when the achievement gap between them and their middle-class peers widens.
Working with school social workers, camp directors and staff, P2P partnered with 15 local day camps throughout the Stamford area this summer, with a majority of the participating camps also offering summer school or the ability to accommodate a summer school schedule for children who required academic help.
The value of this grant from the foundation, which helped P2P send more than 560 children to summer camp this year, extends far beyond the dollar amount.
"Through diverse educational and recreational activities, camp can be a very positive experience for these children as they develop trusted relationships with counselors and peers, practice English-language skills, and experience outdoor exploration -- all of which can inspire learning beyond the classroom," Thomas said.