A fundraising initiative to save the Coop Camp at the Hommocks and Mamaroneck Avenue Schools has yielded $52,000 in less than three weeks. (See: Gazette Will Match Coop Camp Donations).
“We are extremely gratified,” said Liz Liscio, who is helping organize the effort.
The Hommocks program, which serves 100 students, had been cut from this year’s Mamaroneck School district budget. The part of the program for younger students, located at Mamaroneck Avenue School (MAS), had been pared back by 50 students. That meant a total of 150 students in need of academic intervention would be without a program this summer. And, local teenagers employed as counselors would be left without jobs and training.
“We are thrilled we have met our goal of $35,000 to restore the program at Hommocks,” said Ms. Liscio. “Now, we are focusing our attention on the $30,000 for the Mamaroneck Avenue campus and are more than halfway there.”
“It’s been wonderful to see how the community has come together to ensure that students who need support will have a program.,” added Mariana Boneo, who is also spearheading the effort. “We’ve received donations from churches, synagogues and community organizations such as RADAR ($5,000) and the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation ($1,800). Individual donors have ranged from parents of elementary school children to senior citizens. And, we couldn’t have made it to our initial goal as quickly without the generous matching fund donation of $5,000 from the Larchmont Gazette. It seems the name of the fund “Si Se Puede” (Yes We Can!) is particularly apt.”
There is still $13,000 needed to completely restore the program at MAS.
Former school board president Cecilia Absher and her husband, David Katz, announced they are donating $1,000 and will give an additional $1,500 if others in the community give at least $3,000.
“We know Coop Camp makes a real difference for kids and are pleased to have the opportunity to support this worthy cause,” said Ms. Absher.
The Coop program at Hommocks provides sixth, seventh and eighth graders with academic support, curriculum review and other types of enrichment. Programs at the Hommocks and MAS provide skill building and a literacy component. The preponderance of students are from low socio-economic backgrounds. Another part of the program offers special education high school students with work experience and training.
The process of hiring staff for Hommocks is now underway. “We hope to be able to tell the district that we have enough funds to hire staff at Mamaroneck Avenue as well,” said Ms. Liscio.
The Hispanic Resource Center has opened the Si Se Puede fund to facilitate donations. (Note this is not a program of the HRC.)
Donations may be made payable to the Hispanic Resource Center and sent to HRC, 168 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543. Note “Si Se Puede” in the memo section on the check. All donations are tax deductible.