Get ready to walk!
The 21st annual SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Walkathon will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28. This fundraising event helps SBCO support an ever-expanding group of programs benefiting youngsters in nearby communities. Registration for the Walkathon opens on Monday, September 25 following the SBCO General Meeting. This meeting, which features the popular Golden Goose Fashion Show, will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the MountainView Ballroom. The $30 per person walkathon registration fee covers the cost of a commemorative tee shirt and breakfast. Beginning September 26, walkers can register every Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the SBCO office at Suite L in the Mini-Mart Plaza. Plan now to sign up for this enjoyable event.
SBCO helps kids become swimmers
In the heat of a desert summer, nothing beats jumping into the swimming pool. In June and July, the Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District provides free swim lessons to all children in the area, helping them become safe around water. Using two local pools, one in Mammoth and the other in San Manuel, four Red Cross certified instructors provide three or four two-week long sessions of instruction. Each day during a session, 40 to 60 children (between one and 14 years of age) participate in the classes. Summer school students can come for afternoon swimming lessons and also enjoy two days of free swim time a week. Older students can also receive lifeguard training.
SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s grant helps to cover the $40 to $50 needed to provide each child’s swim lessons. Youngsters from Mammoth, San Manuel, Oracle, Dudleyville, Reddington and Aravaipa participate in 160 lessons each year. Through the program, they gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment from learning to be safer near the water and improve their social skills. Some children eventually join local swim teams to further develop their skills and swim competitively.
SBCO supports “College for Kids”
Each summer Central Arizona College Foundation offers a two-week science enrichment program, College for Kids, for 50 children between the ages of seven and eleven. Students from Oracle, San Manuel, Mammoth, Dudleyville, Hayden, Kearney and Superior come to the Central Arizona College campus to participate in hands-on-activities led by teachers and college student aides. This year’s program will focus on Earth Science. Each year’s program focuses on a theme and students are given instruction and opportunities to use the college’s computer lab, library and classrooms. Through the program, students acquire a wealth of information on that summer’s theme, explore the local college campus, envision their future educational goals, stay physically and mentally active through the summer months and most of all, have fun. Some students later become group leaders (during their high school years), providing them with civic leadership opportunities and community service hours. Every year more children ask to become group leaders, a clear sign they value the program. At the end the program, the student’s projects are displayed and they take home science journals that contain their own notes and drawings.
Tuition for the program is $210 per student, which covers transportation, instructional supplies, teachers and coordinators’ salaries, field trip and presenter fees, a tee-shirt and a group photograph. Most families request scholarship funds since they cannot afford the full amount. College for Kids is funded through student tuition fees and donations from local businesses and individuals. SaddleBrooke Community Outreach is the program’s top donor, having increased its grant level over the years so that more local students can benefit from this unique educational enrichment program.