Although the Malverne school district had cut its summer recreation program from the that voters approved last week, on the condition it must be self-sustaining.
The program would still have ran five days a week, Monday through Friday, from July through August, at Howard T. Herber Middle School, and offer sports, arts and crafts, computer use, field trips and other activities the students had enjoyed in the past. The only difference would be that this time, it wouldn't be free. Instead, parents would have to pay a tuition, which could be as high as $1,108 per student, depending on how many kids signed up.
But at the held earlier this month, the district announced that it had to cancel the program this year because not enough children had signed up to cover the cost, $110,800. The district needed a minimum of 100 kids, but only 21 registered on the May 7 sign-up date.
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"I didn't think it was a very good decision with them cancelling the program," Laura Gredel-Frey, a mother whose daughter attended summer rec last year, wrote on the "I Love Malverne But Want More From Our Schools" Facebook page. However, she did think the price was reasonable.
"It was a good price," she said. "Divide the whole price by 8 weeks and then see the price ... not too expensive."
Another member of the social media group, Michele Lee Cadogan added, "Too bad the administrators couldn't forgo their pay increases for a couple of years (as they wanted the teachers to do) in order to offset the cost of such a valuable program for our young people. It may not seem like a lot of money but the reality is that some of our neighbors are unable to add this expense to their own budgets."
"The reason for inadequate participation was clearly the exorbitant increase in the cost, despite it actually being less than many other summer camps," wrote Amitha Raghubir-Heffron, who also stated that the district waited too long to make a decision about the program this year so parents probably made other plans.
For those who were relying on the program, there may be good news. Newly-elected school board Trustee and Malverne Wildcats Founder is working on an alternative plan.
Although Taylor did not return Patch's requests for comment this week, he did describe the details of his proposal, which would require legal and board approval, on Facebook. The program, which would be called Malverne Education and Sports Camp, would run from July 9 through August 11, five days a week, and sports, education and health awareness.
"I really didn't want to say anything until it's done, but listening to people worry about their kids' situation for the summer is making me drop everything and try to create something educational and athletic for the kids and affordable for the parents," Taylor wrote, addng, "Let's pray and be patient."
What do you think of the district's attempt to make their program self-sustaining? Would you be interested in participating in Taylor's alternative if it's approved? Tell us in the comments section below.