by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
The Recreation Financial Assistance Committee awarded a total of $24,276 to a dozen families on Monday, helping 17 children be a part of Sanibel Recreation Center’s youth programs through spring next year.
All of the families applied for the popular after-school program, but most applied for all five programs – three sessions of after school at $340 per session, up to 17 Fundays at $30.50 each, winter and spring rec at $135 each and basketball at $45.
Five of the families received 85 percent assistance, the highest on the city’s sliding fee scale, with a total annual income of $40,000 or less. Three families received 80 percent assistance with income up to $50,000; two received 75 percent and two received 70 percent with income less than $70,000.
The amount of financial assistance given is based on the family’s total income, which includes any tax refunds, child support, unemployment and LeeCares benefits received. Applicants can not earn more than $80,000 a year and must live or work on the island to qualify.
Recreation Department Director Andrea Miller told RFAC members 85 students are enrolled in the Recreation Center’s after-school program and 12 are on the wait list due to the staff ratio needed for more children. She estimated one-third to 25 percent of students in the after-school program receive financial assistance.
The 12 blind applications unanimously approved on Monday were repeats, which means the families previously received assistance. The next RFAC meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24 at City Hall.