Khalid Khalid smiled and laughed as he tossed a battered football to a friend.
The 12-year-old was surrounded by dozens of jovial elementary school kids Wednesday at the Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center, 2651 Roberts Road.
“This place is amazing; it has had a huge impact on my life,” said Khalid, who comes to the center every day after school to work on homework and unwind.
The center, which has provided a place for children and teens to spend time after school, has also offered a Good Neighbors summer camp for local children for the past 10 years.
However, budget shortfalls across the state have left the center with a $30,000 deficit for this summer’s camp.
“We have a diverse funding base,” Neighborhood Center Program Director Sue Freeman said. “That helps in lean times, and we are in some lean times.”
The deficit stems from funding cuts to the Johnson County Decategorization Board for the next fiscal year, starting in July. The board is responsible for a large chunk of the summer camp’s ability to subsidize its fees.
According to a press release, the summer camp budget cuts will eliminate funding for more than 60 elementary-age children living in Pheasant Ridge, the Broadway Neighborhood, and Forest View Mobile Home Park.
Traditionally, the camp has been subsidized for low-income families as a way to give kids something to do when school is out. The funding pinch has caused the center look to the community for help. Continue reading NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER WANTS MORE SUMMER-CAMP FUNDING