Napa Parks and Recreation Foundation launches fundraising effort for youth recreation scholarships | Local News

The Napa Parks and Recreation Foundation has launched a “Play it Forward” fundraising effort to help fund recreational scholarships for Napa youth this coming summer.

The scholarship program—created more than a decade ago as a partnership between the City of Napa and the foundation—pays 85% to 95% of the cost of summer recreation programs, with a maximum of $500 in fees per family.

Napa residents 17 years of age or younger from households below the city’s median district income will be eligible for the scholarship. (The cost of Napa AMI included in the 2021 Grant Program Guidelines is $80,000.)

“The goal of the program is to make sure that every child who wants to enroll in one of our programs can,” said Katrina Gregory, Napa’s director of recreation. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to go to summer camp or swimming lessons. And so we try to provide that.”

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A press release notes that this effort is partly due to the need for more funding than usual to support the program due to the financial implications associated with the pandemic. Gregory said the campaign also seeks to advertise the program to more than 4,500 eligible youth in Napa.

Gregory said winter fundraising allows time to find out and announce scholarships in early spring. This gives recipients time to enroll in generally required programs such as swimming programs or camps.

Gregory said the grant also supports public health, meaning it gives a larger segment of the population access to entertainment programs.

The Long-Term Youth Scholarship bears some resemblance to the $500 Recreational Scholarship for Napa Seniors that was established earlier this year, according to Gregory. The Graduate Scholarship has a similar goal of promoting public health – it seeks to reduce isolation and other health problems, and to bring low-income seniors, Hispanic seniors, and single seniors into the city’s entertainment programs.

Gregory said the Youth Scholarships were providing a set amount of dollars, but the funding structure was changed to be on a percentage basis so that more expensive programs are available to scholarship recipients.

Gregory said the entertainment department is still running fewer programs than it did before the pandemic. She added that the city has gradually recovered economically since it struggled with early budgeting for the pandemic, and there will easily be more than 100 different entertainment programs available for children next summer.

In addition to grants, the Parks Foundation is working on a project to provide signage and a path map in Westwood Hills Park and to enhance the city’s parks. Gregory said the signage effort — which has been in the works for several years — will help make Westwood’s very hilly hills more accessible.

“The foundation is really focused on two major initiatives,” Gregory said. “The first is the scholarship program; we want to make sure it is sustainable over the years so that we can meet the financial needs of our community. The second is fundraising for park signage in Westwood Hills, and to make sure the parks are usable and accessible to everyone in the community.”

Curious what the manufactured home looks like inside? Check out this home in the 55+ Napa community, Oaktree Vineyard. It was recently offered for sale for $295,000 and is now on contract.

You can reach Edward Booth at (707) 256-2213.


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