The funding will help the organization offer early education, child care and after-school programming at the Lincoln County Youth Center
The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is awarding $40,000 to the Lincoln County Youth Commission to increase services and make improvements at the youth center in Richfield.
The Lincoln County Youth Center is a 7,500-square-foot building that currently houses low-cost preschool and free after-school programming. Future plans include full-service child care.
“We’re excited to support the Lincoln County Youth Commission,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “These programs and services will be transformational for families and children in Lincoln County.”
Lincoln County, located in rural South-Central Idaho, has a high poverty rate, and nearly 80 percent of residents work outside county lines. The long commutes, long hours and economic hardship put children at risk, said Karma Metzler Fitzgerald, chairman of the Lincoln County Youth Commission.
“Our goal is to provide a safe and sustainable community center for Lincoln County children to learn, grow and find the resources to achieve their dreams,” Fitzgerald said.
The Lincoln County Youth Center is funded through a 21st Century Learning Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The center’s after-school programming includes experiential exposure to agriculture/STEM, theater and music, lifetime sports and humanities. Children visit the center 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day Friday. The center also provides free transportation for Lincoln County students who attend the College of Southern Idaho in nearby Twin Falls.
The Lincoln County Youth Commission is thankful for the support from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health and other organizations.
“It’s collaborations like this that allow us to provide a healthy, sustainable source of community-based learning and support to meet the needs of our children and their families,” Fitzgerald said.