provided to Santiva Chronicle
F.I.S.H. of SANCAP is ready to assist families in need through its Summer Youth Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance for children’s summer camp sessions and supported by private donors, as well as grant funding from the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club.
While there is uncertainty surrounding childcare and summer camps due to the COVID-19 pandemic, F.I.S.H. understands the challenges it places on families. The organization’s Executive Director Alicia Tighe says our workforce is in a really difficult position as they desperately want to be back to work, but are unsure if they can financially balance the reduced number of hours with ensuring their child is complete online school requirements and in a safe place while they are at work.
“We offer scholarships for summer programs every year to ensure children remain active and in enriching environments when they’re out of school, but this year is undoubtedly more complex for families,” said Tighe.
F.I.S.H. is in close contact with camp directors so the organization can refer families to local summer programs on and off the island. Tighe says many camps are making adaptations in order to continue offering educational experiences at this important time of year for children.
“For instance, the Sanibel Sea School will offer virtual camps in June, while Full Steam Ahead Fort Myers-Naples is offering in-person experiences using social distance learning spaces on campus,” said Tighe. “It’s all about finding a balance that makes sense, keeps children engaged, and most importantly, keeps them safe.”
Assistance from the F.I.S.H. Summer Youth Scholarship Program is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The organization’s social services department determines eligibility for need-based financial assistance through a review of a family’s income and expense documentation. Scholarship amounts vary depending upon the length and cost of the program, as well as the family’s financial status. Available funding is limited and scholarships my cover only a portion of the tuition cost.
To learn more and to determine eligibility, contact F.I.S.H. Social Services Director Nitza Lopez at 239-472-0404.