N.E.W. gift supports summer sports camps and Camp Nittany

N.E.W. Customer Service Companies Inc. has presented a $1,500 gift to Penn State Altoona to fund scholarships for area youth attending the campus’ summer sports camps and Camp Nittany.

“I express heartfelt gratitude to N.E.W. for a gift that will expand the reach of educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Blair and surrounding counties,” said Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. “Undeniably, this gift will meet a compelling need, impact lives in significant ways, and support initiatives that contribute to the intellectual, physical and social development of area youth.”

Penn State Altoona offers age-appropriate sports camps for youths interested in basketball, golf, soccer, martial arts/self-defense and girls volleyball. Instructors focus on the development of fundamental skills, correct technique, conditioning, tactics and rules. Sports camps feature an array of lectures, demonstrations and drills.

Camp Nittany enables youths to explore their interests, enhance self-esteem, learn sportsmanship and teamwork, and develop new friendships. Morning activities include tennis, canoeing, volleyball and soccer. Afternoon activities include swimming, basketball, softball/baseball, fitness games and a Wednesday field trip.

Private support for sports camps and Camp Nittany is especially vital because they are self-sustaining. Penn State Altoona does not receive state funding for any of its summer enrichment programs. Gifts from individuals, businesses and corporations in support of these programs help Penn State Altoona to accommodate annual requests for financial assistance received from families who cannot afford the full cost of tuition.

“N.E.W., an Asurion company, is honored to partner with Penn State Altoona by providing scholarships to area youth who will benefit from the summer programs,” said Michael Phillips, director, contact center operations. “We strongly believe that our area youth are assets to be utilized and developed, not problems to be solved. Penn State Altoona is providing great summer programs for our cherished assets while tackling this compelling need in our community. We appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in our community through the efforts of the summer programs offered by Penn State Altoona.”

Penn State Altoona’s summer enrichment programs — Kids’ College, sports camps and Camp Nittany — are available to more than 18,000 students in school districts throughout Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Huntingdon counties. In 2012, Penn State Altoona awarded more than 140 scholarships totaling more than $13,000 for summer educational enrichment programs. Over half the scholarships were awarded to youths who registered for Camp Nittany or a sports camp. Significantly, the percentage of scholarships awarded to youths attending Camp Nittany and sports camps set a three-year high.

While total registrations for the three summer programs have remained steady since 2010, the number of overall scholarship recipients has increased from 100 in 2010, to 123 in 2011, and more than 140 in 2012. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and on a first-come, first-served basis. These numbers reflect the popularity of Camp Nittany and sports camps, the desire of economically distressed families in the region to provide supplemental educational opportunities for their children and the critical need for private support to fund the tuition assistance program.

“Our camps serve children from ages 5 to 17, stressing fundamentals, conditioning and the value of teamwork,” said Jeffery A. Covino, education and training specialist/coordinator of Camp Nittany and sports camps. “These values and work ethics are important tools for a well-rounded camp experience, but more importantly they help provide a strong foundation for life. The ability to offer scholarships helps us make these important experiences available to all the children in the area.”

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Last Updated June 10, 2013