WDSRA Grant-Funded Special Recreation Scholarships

Apr 26, 2024

Funding Recreation Opportunities for all

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association

Amount Awarded: $21,286 | Project Status: Projected Completion December 2024

ARPA funding empowered the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) to fund scholarships for people with disabilities in Will County. These scholarships ensure that families in Naperville have the opportunity to participate in special recreation opportunities to foster growth and development.

WDSRA believes in ensuring that every family, irrespective of their financial circumstances, has access to these recreation opportunities. Their aim is to support families who may only require scholarship assistance for a brief period, as well as those who rely on them for extended durations. These scholarships ensure that both existing and new families can benefit from the enriching experiences special recreation provides regardless of their financial challenges.

Scholarships will cover a maximum of 50% of program costs, capped at $100 per program, with participants eligible for up to three programs per season. These scholarships are exclusively available to residents within WDSRA’s nine-member park districts. In a typical season, WDSRA extends over 100 scholarships, benefiting more than 60 individuals. However, given the increased demand for summer day camps, WDSRA anticipates granting over 200 scholarships, benefiting over 100 individuals during the summer season.

Making a Difference

Scholarships play a vital role in granting individuals with disabilities access to programs crucial for their general health and wellbeing. Special recreation programs serve as catalysts for personal growth, community connection, and self-discovery. These initiatives offer a myriad of benefits, such as boosting self-confidence and self-esteem, nurturing independence, expanding skill sets, promoting social interaction, fostering friendships, and providing much-needed respite for family members and caregivers. By facilitating access to these programs, scholarships empower individuals with disabilities to thrive and lead fulfilling lives.

“The funding from ARPA holds immense potential to positively impact the lives of numerous families within our community. Financial challenges often force families to make difficult choices, and we are determined to ensure that accessing special recreation programs is never one of them. These programs are lifelines for individuals with disabilities, providing essential social interaction and support. Our unwavering mission remains steadfast: to guarantee that every individual, regardless of circumstance, has equitable access to the transformative power of special recreation.”

Dan Leahy, Executive Director