Arlington Rotary Club Sends Kids to Outdoor Camp

Some Arlington school children wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend Camp Grady without the help of the Rotary Club of Arlington. For the past 15 years, students from Webb Elementary School have been able to access the camping program because of assistance from the club. Homeowners in Arlington are excited to see the program continue to thrive.

The Rotary Club is a community service organization that has been around since 1923, and Camp Grady Spruce is a signature project for the club. Adds member Lynn Stavinoha, “The significance of the Camp Grady experience for the students at Webb is life-changing. It’s often the first encounter with nature that these children experience.”

With a large economically challenged population, Webb’s students would otherwise have a hard time being able to afford the camp. According to the Texas Education Agency, approximately 62% of students have limited English language skills. The Rotary Club focuses on Camp Grady Spruce because it incorporates reading, math and science into the five-day curriculum, which helps students improve on the state’s standardized tests.

Approximately 85 students attend Camp Grady Spruce each year, and the annual cost is about $8,000. Funded are provided by donations and fundraising, which in addition to camp tuition helps send supplies like coats and jackets for any campers in need. Each child also receives a backpack with gloves, hand sanitizer, pencils, pads, dental products and other supplies.

In addition to the camping program, the Rotary Club of Arlington has a college scholarship program that awards $750 per semester to all students who finish sixth grade at Webb and go on to graduate from high school. The scholarship program began in 1995 and the first student to attend college on a Webb scholarship did so in fall 2002.

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(all data current as of 5/28/2015)

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