Summer program for special needs kids in Newport News discontinued

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jun 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-08 20:56:36-04

Newport News, Va. - A summer program for special needs kids in Newport News will not be taking place this year.

NewsChannel 3 has learned the city's Therapeutic Recreation program was cut from the city's budget.

It was offered through the Parks and Recreation Department.  Along with a summer camp for kids with mental and physical disabilities, it also included an after-school program.

According to Tammy Jordan, Assistant Director of Recreation for the city, the program was initially just suspended temporarily in December because two of their full-time specialists resigned, but then this spring parents learned the program might not come back at all.

The city sent a letter to parents warning them that it would likely be cut because of its cost.

Parents did pay some fees for the program, but it still cost the city about $250,000.

According to Jordan, about 32 kids typically enrolled in the summer program and about 19 in the after-school program.

Some of them have been transitioned into the city's regular after-school and summer programs, but Jordan say it wasn't possible for some whose disabilities are deemed too severe.

Without the program offered by the city they don't have a lot of options, which means a big loss for some kids this summer.