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OregonASK helps programs connect directly to decision makers, supports opportunities to elevate youth voice, and helps programs connect to their communities. Find out more about annual opportunities and getting connected HERE.

What Would Happen with No Summer Funding?

Interruption in services, for even just one summer, has long-term, historic ramifications.

  • Growing Distrust in an ‘Equitable’ System: The perception becomes a reality when one time funding to prioritize communities of color and youth with disabilities gets swept to the wayside when the state faces hard choices.
  • Dismantling of Youth Development Workforce: Without funding to maintain or hire necessary staff, programs will be forced to lay off trained, valuable staff and unable to develop the support necessary for positive youth development that happens outside of the school day.
  • Decreased Youth Development: From the programs who provide youth jobs to the spaces where youth are inspired to try something new, summer is key in engaging and developing young people into thriving members of our community.
  • Destabilization for Disengaged Youth: As youth are continuing to face dramatic mental health turmoil across the state, we must continue to support positive relationships and experiences that will combat the multiple years of pandemic trauma.

CLICK HERE to see what programs shared about the deep impact their youth, families and programs would feel immediately if there was no funding available for summer 2023. We can also see the longer term impact our state would face in the commitment to supporting fair and equitable opportunities for every Oregonian. We know there are many difficult decisions to make at the state level, but this is an opportunity to act in building authentically equitable systems that will directly and deeply impact youth and families.

If Oregon Legislative Leaders do not act now, youth without access to resources will be left behind. For decades, summer camps and enrichment opportunities have been accessible for those with means, research shows that high-income families spend nearly $8,000 more per year on education & enrichment than low-income families, creating continued inequity for youth and families. Research demonstrates that afterschool and summer programs offer a wealth of benefits to the children and youth (and their families) who attend them, including a safe place to be, peace of mind for working parents, academic support for struggling students, a sense of belonging, and enrichment opportunities.

Quotes from Oregon Community Summer Grantees

What would your summer look like without fun(ding)?

The grant last summer made it to where we could fully fund 100 families in our most impacted district. Losing that will mean those students will not have anywhere to go this summer and we will have to let staff go. This is going to impact our relationship we have built with the community.
 
Our organization works to build trust in our community and they depend on the service we provide. In addition to having childcare, their children have positive relationships with our staff.
 
We always offer free programs because of our CEP status. It is not sustainable for us to try to charge families for summer programming. It will disproportionately impact low-income families. This is a group that is already at risk of struggling to find success in the 9th grade and set the tone for the rest of their high school career. It is a disadvantage from the start.
 
While we will still be able to operate our summer programs this year without the OCSG, we will not be able to produce the quality of programs that we were able to for the past two years. This will have lasting effects on our families that have come to rely on our quality of programming… our program is unique in it’s experiential approach to outdoor education … we need the additional resources that allow us to have more instructors and thereby more of a direct connection with each student.
 
Additional summer funding allows us to provide more mentors to youth who are considered at-risk or facing adversity. With mentoring also comes case management services for the entire family. These services provide support, resources and service referrals. It provides families a safe place to call when they can’t pay rent or put food on the table. We are the first phone call when a family is in need as they trust their case managers and know that there is support. Without additional summer funding we will continue to see long waitlists
 
It will be very difficult for us as a board to tell Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids that we don’t have the funds to bring
their child to camp this summer.
 
We serve the kids who have very, very few summer opportunities. These children are physically and mentally disabled and medically fragile. We give them a space where they can feel safe, learn, and have fun. Not having this available to them would be heartbreaking.
 
Our organization has rapidly put in place youth programming in partnership with the local high school, Madras High School. We have provided financial skills training, co-developed a Native students homeroom, started an American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) entrepreneurship club, and provided hands-on workforce training using virtual reality googles. We have a lot of momentum in this growing program. It would be unfortunate if we did not have funding for a summer youth employment program, as many of our summer youth are strong leaders in our school-year program. We are interested in ensuring these programs remain connected, and that youth have excellent horizon-expanding activities and employment available year-round.
 
We are most worried and sad for families, we feel very badly about not being able to serve and see the wonderful amazing thrilling impacts on our families. I guess you could call it deep disappointment and discouragement. I suppose it could possibly lead to discontent and negativity, although we would certainly find ways to mitigate this.
 
Oregon should support a broad variety of learning for children – not just academic. The creative arts leads to better understanding of math and science – and creates more well-rounded youth who become well-rounded adults. Summer is a time to move and play and learn and create. ..They need to feel passionate about creating something beautiful or learning new dance, music, theatre, podcast skills – between hands-on fused glass, pottery, fibre arts, etc. Give them a chance to expand their minds and their talents! Oregon kids are worth it! Our camp is here to help make that happen – and a little help from the legislature’s funding will make an incredible difference in the lives of young ones.
 

We have cut our summer programming by 50%

Lack of grant funding means we have to prioritize schools who can mostly pay for programming, which means that we can’t serve as well those schools that are under-resourced.

 

52% of students in our summer program accessed partial or full scholarships

June 2023 Update

While the Oregon legislature remains unable to pass bills through the Senate, work is being done on state agency budgets to ensure the state can continue to operate beyond June 30. The May revenue forecast showed a positive outlook with $1.8 billion in ‘additional’ revenue but Senate Bill 531 remains one of hundreds of policy bills that will likely not get voted on if state legislators do not attend the chamber convenings. 
However, some Oregon legislators have indicated there is still hope for summer funding for 2023 being included in an overall budget allocation process, similar to the one time ‘pot of money’ that was created last year. However, if summer is included, the budget would likely not be approved until the final week of June with another 6-8 week process through writing rules, legal review, contracts, etc before anyone would even be able to think about getting money out to grantees. Funding may be able to retroactively support programming from July 1st but even in the best of circumstances it is likely programs would not have funds until the end of September or October at the earliest. 
 
We will continue to share the Summer Without Funding impact report and work alongside agency partners to be ready for whatever funding may be allocated. 
 

Join us in championing afterschool and summer programs in Oregon! There are plenty of ways to get involved, from attending our quarterly partner meetings, to joining us for a day of advocacy at our annual Day at the Capitol.

Check out the links below to explore all the ways to get involved, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed on all the happenings of afterschool and summer in Oregon!

Why should I get involved with afterschool?

Afterschool and summer enrichment programs reinforce what
students learn in school and provide extra support to students
who are struggling or have disabilities. Programs provide
more time for deeper learning, creative spaces for hands-on
projects, and opportunities for students of all ages to explore
careers.

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