It always comes down to the all mighty dollar! Over the past 10 years throughout the town of Edgemont concerned parents, teachers, school administrators, business men and women, city council members, grandparents, chamber members, neighbors, and many others concerned citizens, have come together for a common purpose…our kids! The Edgemont YMCA was started for the sole purpose to provide an afterschool program for the kids in our community. Over the past ten years the Edgemont YMCA has changed, developed, changed again and provided many essential activities and programs to strengthen our community by strengthening our kids. Our community has supported our Y and it’s programs with bake sales, gun raffles, donations, can recycling, chili feeds, poker games, buying gas at PJ’s to support the “Gas for Kids” program, three point shoots, garage sales, as well as countless hours of volunteering as board members, coaches, mentors, referees, umpires, Kidstop aids…the list is long and amazing. Our story is remarkable! It is a story of coming together, a story of determination, and an amazing success story that sets the Edgemont YMCA as one of seven YMCAs in the entire state of South Dakota!
Together, we have done so much over the past 10 years…and it all could be undone on October 1st, 2015.
For the past 10 years we have had the privilege to nurture and inspire kids to discover their potential by operating our Kidstop program and Summer Camp. The YMCA Kidstop program offers 16 hours a week afterschool care and 200 hours of Summer Camp for kids Kindergarten thru 5th grade. The Kidstop program is a state licensed program which for the past four years has been funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program.
As of July 1, 2015, our Edgemont, Custer and Hermosa grant is in the fifth year of a five year grant cycle. This 21st Century grant allows all three towns to operate both summer camp and Kidstop with only a small registration fee with funding ending after the 2015-2016 school years. This coming year the Y will be seeking another fuve year grant to insure our program continues and we are in the process of preparing the material to reapply. BUT…We are in jeopardy of losing these programs due to the 21st Century Grant application requirement that currently we MAY not meet. Our school needs to be a Title 1 school or have a minimum of 40% Free and Reduced student population to APPLY for the Grant. The grant will be using the Free and Reduced Price Meal percentage for our school as of October of 2015. Currently, our school is at 36% but this needs to be at or above 40%...this is a difference of 6 kids. To apply for the 21st Century Grant we need to bring this percentage up by September 30th.
This is our first of several hurdles for securing the grant for the next 5 years starting with the 2016-2017 school year. We need your help! We thank those families that have already applied but we need all families in the district that may qualify to submit a completed application! In the next month, we need the Free and Reduced percentage to be at or above 40%...only six more kids, school wide, need to qualify! The school handed these applications out to all families this fall. If you know people who you feel should be included in this demographic please encourage them to file the necessary application with the school.
This has a greater impact that goes beyond Edgemont…the three schools involved with this grant (Custer, Hermosa, Edgemont) are borderline or below the standard for the free and reduced scale.