Summer camp for kids with autism at risk without provincial funding
A summer camp for kids with autism is at risk because crucial funding has not been secured.
“This could be the death of Camp Kaleidoscope as we know it,” says Brenda Reisch, executive director of Children at Risk, the charity that runs Camp Kaleidoscope.
Camp Kaleidoscope is an all-day camp that runs out of schools provided by the Catholic School Board for 5 weeks during the summer. A provincial grant from the Focus on Youth Fund allows the camp to run in the schools free of charge as well a hiring custodial staff.
But the school board hasn’t had confirmation about the funding; therefore the camp hasn’t been able to secure a location.
Reisch says, “March 3rd last year we had an email from the school board saying here is your application for the school. That date has come and passed.”
Without the funds, the camp can be too costly for parents.
In a statement the Ottawa Catholic School Board says it “has requested confirmation from the provincial government on funding changes to the Focus on Youth program. Focus on Youth supports projects like Camp Kaleidoscope. Like other Boards, we await details on this funding and the pending provincial budget.”
Krista Brosseau’s son Nicolas was planning on going to Camp Kaleidoscope this summer. She says, “Very worried. Families like ours depend on the programming and the province to take care of us.”
Brosseau says, “He can go to camp just like any other kid... the programs at Camp K is amazing.”
The provincial budget is set for April 11th. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education says no decisions have been made for the 2019/2020 school year.
Reisch is asking parents to write to their MPPs to press for answers.
Brosseau will be writing a letter. “They are our best shot for a voice in the legislature,” she says.