It’s not every day when you approach an organization to request funding they come back and say not only are we going to provide funding, we’re going to give 50% more than requested. That is exactly what happened when Mountain Rec approached Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (EVBH), an outreach of Vail Health, to support the Mountain Rec Youth Scholarship Program in 2020.
Why? Because both organizations subscribe to the philosophy that every child deserves to play, learn and grow alongside their peers, regardless of their ability to pay.
The newly-coined Eagle Valley Behavioral Health Youth Scholarship administered by Mountain Rec now has $50,000 to gift for families who qualify for Eagle County Schools’ Free and Reduced lunch. This is a $30,000 increase over last year’s funding thanks to the generous grant awarded by the EVBH Board of Directors.
There is more to this youth scholarship program than giving our youth a safe place to play all while instilling positive life-long values, it’s about providing opportunities to solve a problem before it ever becomes one.
“Developing and maintaining social connections and engaging in physical activity are among the top prevention measures our community can take to reduce behavioral and mental health issues,” said Chris Lindley, EVBH Executive Director. “This grant will continue our progress towards preventing and combating mental health issues among our local youth.”
Families who are awarded scholarship funds will be able to use them for an array of Mountain Rec programs such as: Gymnastics and Swimming lessons, Rec Kids day camps (childcare for working parents when school is out), Karate, Ballet, Yoga, Youth Sports Leagues, Learn to Ice Skate, Summer Sports Camps and Explorer Summer Camps to name a few.
“Two years ago, we revamped our scholarship program and within weeks the $20,000 our board allocated was distributed to families in need, leaving just as many kids on the waitlist as had already received funding. We made it a goal in 2019 to find a partner for 2020 to help us ensure those kids didn’t have to wait anymore. Thanks to the generosity of EVBH, they won’t,” said Janet Bartnik, Executive Director of Mountain Recreation.
Along with the applications, guardians need to provide a copy of their Free & Reduced Lunch approval letter from Eagle County Schools. This letter can be accessed through their School Café Account. Parents with children who are not enrolled in Eagle County Schools can still apply by bringing a copy of their previous year’s tax returns. If their income meets the Free & Reduced lunch criteria, they will become eligible for funds.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Anna Englehart, Superintendent of Recreation Programs with Mountain Recreation at AEnglehart@MountainRec.org or (970) 688-7324.
About Mountain Recreation
Mountain Recreation is an Eagle County, Colorado metro recreation district that primarily serves area residents. Founded in 1980, the Mountain Rec district has grown significantly over its history to include three large indoor facilities, athletic fields, outdoor activity areas, plus a variety of recreational programs and services. To learn more about why they believe everyone deserves to be healthy and happy, visit MountainRec.org.
About Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (EVBH)
Created in April 2019 thanks to a $60-million commitment by Vail Health, EVBH was established to lead the community collaboration, ensuring access to superior behavioral health services for everyone in the Eagle River Valley. EVBH has partnered with more than 25 local organizations to collaborate on behavioral health initiatives and provide the critical change needed to ensure a long-term vision for a robust, sustainable behavioral health system. For a list of community partners, as well as local behavioral health providers, visit eaglevalleybh.org.