As a result of Port Washington Public Library’s (PWPL) recommendation, 22 children were given the opportunity to attend a six-week summer sports camp program completely free, sponsored by the Port Washington Police Athletic League (PAL) and local nonprofit Summer Together.
The scholarship recipients were recommended to the summer program via the Port Washington Public Library’s English For Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and homegrown reader family initiatives.
What was initially supposed to be a three-week camp became a full six-week experience when Rob Elkins, director of PAL, upgraded all Summer Together scholarship recipients to full-time campers and extended their enrollment by three additional weeks.
“The countless ‘thank yous’ and ‘God bless you alls,’ could not even begin to express the gratitude that these families had [for this opportunity],” Javiera Arenas of the Port Washington Public Library, said.
As a sign of appreciation, the children drew handmade cards for the coaches, counselors and staff at the camp. Additionally, with help from Port Washington Public Library’s Lesly Sagatume, the families arranged and collected money to buy a group gift for the counselors and Director Rob Elkins.
“The happiness that this camp brought them during these strange times is beyond words,” Arenas said.
Summer Together is a wholly volunteer-run program that funds summer camp scholarships and public-pool memberships for Port Washington families in need of economic assistance. Summer Together is a program of Long Island Together (LIT), a group of local community activists working to improve access to educational and enrichment opportunities for children, among other social justice causes.
In Summer 2020, the program’s third year, the Summer Together team worked diligently to enable Port families to experience safe and enriching summer activities amid the challenges of the pandemic.
—Submitted by the PWPL