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June 10, 2021 | Programs: Summer
KILLINGTON, Vt. (June 10, 2021) – Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, Vermont’s only state-wide, year-round nonprofit to provide sports and recreational programs for athletes with any disability, was recently selected to receive $75,000 in funding from the Summer Matters for All Grant program. According to Governor Phil Scott, the Summer Matters for All Grant Program will award up to $3.85 million to programs in 13 counties with the goal of expanding access to summer enrichment opportunities for K-12 youth this summer.
With the funding from Summer Matters for All, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports will offer its adaptive sports and recreation programs free of charge this summer to any athlete with a disability in K-12. Summer programs include cycling, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, environmental programs and Core Connections wellness education.
In addition to serving K-12 adaptive athletes, Vermont Adaptive will create a new Apprenticeship Program for eligible youth ages 14-17 to become junior instructors and learn important job and coaching skills while supporting adaptive athletes. Currently, Vermont Adaptive’s programs are supported by more than 400 volunteers and a well-recognized Internship Program for students 18 and over, which will also be expanded under Summer Matters For All.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer free adaptive sport programs this summer to any K-12 athlete with a disability,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director. “Especially after the past year when so many in our community were unable to recreate with us due to the pandemic. Now it’s more important than ever that kids with disabilities have access to programs like ours to enjoy the health, wellness and social benefits of recreation.”
Governor Scott has put an emphasis on helping Vermont kids recover from the pandemic and the isolation it caused, including creating opportunities for them to safely reconnect with their peers and their communities. The purpose of the grant program is to increase access to summer enrichment opportunities for K-12 youth statewide during Summer 2021. This was a highly competitive process with 188 proposals submitting $7,427,584 in requests, which far exceeded available funds.
The grants, funded by federal dollars secured by Senator Bernie Sanders and administered by Vermont Afterschool, were awarded to a variety of programs, including summer camps, libraries, municipalities, teen centers, non-profit social services organizations and more, to expand the number of weeks and slots, as well as to increase affordability and accessibility of summer programs. These offerings will supplement school-based programs, as districts in Vermont received separate federal funds to support summer learning and afterschool programs.
“Summer is the perfect opportunity to help kids reconnect and recharge. We are incredibly grateful to our state leaders and policymakers for their commitment to the development of the Summer Matters for All Grant Program,” said Holly Morehouse, executive director of Vermont Afterschool. “With this funding, communities and youth-serving organizations across the state will be able to create a great summer for Vermont children and youth that will help them make new memories and emerge from the pandemic strong, resilient, and hopeful.”
To learn more about and make a reservation for Vermont Adaptive’s Summer Programs, or to sign up to participate or volunteer, please visit www.vermontadaptive.org.