Evanston children tend to have much different summer camp experiences, depending on their parents’ economic situation. The more affluent enjoy swim lessons, camps with sports activities, vacations etc., and have fun, enriching summers. For those living below the poverty line (nearly one in three in the Evanston area), extras like summer camps with accompanying enrollment fees, are not within a family’s budget.
The Ted Fund levels the playing field
The Ted Fund honors the memory of Ted Muller, who died in 1996 at the young age of 29. Ted had spent his brief life as both a camp counselor and schoolteacher dedicated to children. Ted’s mother remembers that he was worried that local summer camps cost money and placed them out of reach to children who needed them most. After Ted died, his family asked, in lieu of flowers, for donations. The fund soon became known as the “Ted Fund” and organizers, in conjunction with social workers and third-grade teachers at Ted’s District 65 elementary schools, give financially disadvantaged students three consecutive years of summer camp funding.
Eligible children can choose a summer day camp from the same programs available to all Evanston children. In District 65 schools, third graders can receive the annual three-consecutive-year scholarship for summer camp. The Ted Fund also links with the Evanston YWCA for educational enrichment – homework help, group activities, games – along with free swimming lessons.
Donations urgently needed
About 40% of Evanston children are enrolled in their school’s subsidized lunch program, and the waiting list for Ted Fund scholarships continues to grow. Staffed by volunteers in office space that is donated, the Ted Fund is a non-profit charitable organization that funnels every dollar donated to its scholarship program. For more information, go to the Ted Fund web site factsheet.
Summer camping for a meaningful experience
The Ted Fund works with 16 local camps for scholarship funding. The eclectic camp choices include sports, performing arts (drama, music, light opera), gymnastics and day camps.
Owners Brooke and James Schamber on fund's board of directors
Oasis Day Camp, with its award winning program, provided over $20,000 in Ted Fund camp scholarships during the summer of 2012. Contact us and learn more about our summer day camp program that will turn your child's hot summer into a truly enriching and cool experience.