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Summer recreation program requires additional funding

By Staff | Feb 18, 2015

photo by BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Executive board members, Justin Winters, Vice-President; Mike Gaydon, President; and Amber Nagel, Secretary, plan 2015 program activities for the Muncy Community Action Program (CAP). The board is also initiating a fundraising campaign to help offset rising costs.

MUNCY – For the past 45 years, a group of concerned citizens and residents of Muncy School District have withheld the mission to promote the growth and advancement of adults and students through the continuous operation of the Muncy Community Action Program, known as CAP.

This program was inititiated to provide social, educational and recreational activities to all students within the Muncy School District at no cost during the summer months.

Every month board officers and other members meet either at the Muncy Library or Winters Insurance office to discuss plans and program development to keep the funding solvent and the program running in the forseeable future.

Vice President, Justin Winters announced this month that the program costs have risen considerably and additional funding from various sources within the Muncy community will help offset some of these inflatable items. “The costs are always rising,” he said. “Insurances are going up significantly, and so are the arts and crafts supplies.”

Along with ten volunteers, the summer recreation program is run by a paid full time supervisor with an assistant and 4 additional part time staff who serve as recreational counselors. Many staff members are teachers and counselors are often students from Muncy High School.

CAP is open to all students in grades K through 6th in the Muncy School District. It operates three to four hours a day during the summer months at Ward Myers Elementary School where some classrooms, the gym and playground areas are utilized. Established to give children a safe environment, it pretty much relies on the generosity of the community to fund the program according to President, Mike Gaydon.

It is significantly funded through the Muncy School District, but has been difficult to maintain with increased costs. Attendance has “grown dramatically over the past five years.” CAP serves anywhere from 110 to 125 children on a daily basis.

This recreational program has been in existence since the mid 70’s. Some of the early founders and organizers were Dennis Ringling, Whitney Soars, Jim Tule and Dave Wallis according to current board member, Madeleine Bird. The original articles of incorporation as a non-profit organizatin were signed in 1984. However, the program began a decade before that and with the support of Muncy School District and some volunteers, it provides kids with arts and crafts, basketball, and tennis lessons.

It remains a community service to the Muncy Borough, Muncy Creek Township and the Muncy School District and provided by local taxes. “We are now seeking funds from community residents, businesses, and organizations,” Gaydon added. “Everything across the board has gone up,” said board member, Michael Coppes. “Liability, wages, supplies.”

No doubt, CAP is valuable to the Muncy community. Parents continue to testify to their children’s enjoyment and how appreciative they are to have their children be able to attend the summer recreational program.

Each day the kids get to choose an activity they want. Emily and Ella Nagel said they really enjoy playing the water games. “Water Wednesdays” is popular and a huge hit according to the board. New, engaging activities are added each week. Emily also said she made a kite last summer and a tie dye tee shirt. Tours and special guest speakers are also part of the program. Last year the group said they teamed up with the Lycoming County Conservation District for a nature program and the kids conducted a bug study along Glade Run.

Along the way, the students can earn “Rec Bucks” for being helpful and showing good sportsmanship. Later these “Rec Bucks” can be redeemed at the “Rec Store.”

In order to continue on the level of excellence since its existence, and with rising operating costs, a request for funding is part of their 2015 goal plan. “CAP is a good thing for the community,” said Justin Winters.

Other board members not mentioned include Bob Murphy, Bob Seeley, and Mike Paisley, Treasurer. Serena Horan is the Program Director. Anyone of them can be contacted for donations.