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Youth program to be held

TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga will have a recreation program for youth this summer.

There was no summer recreation program in 2009 because of construction at Ticonderoga Elementary School and prospects for the 2010 program were bleak after few children were registered by a March deadline.

That's changed, though. Supervisor Deb Malaney said 80 children are now signed up for the program.

Pre-registration is mandatory for this year's program because of a new Tuition policy.

The Ti town board has agreed the $75,000 program is too expensive for local taxpayers and should be funded by those who use it.

Families who qualify for free lunches at Ticonderoga Central School will not be charged for the five-week program.

Families who qualify for reduced lunches at school will be charged $12.50 per child per week to attend the summer program.

Families who do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch program will be charged $25 per child per week to attend.

"You can't find a babysitter for that kind of money," Malaney said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for children."

Angie MacAlpine will again be director the summer recreation program.

Ticonderoga's summer recreation program, which serves children ages 5-13, includes a free breakfast and lunch along with various recreation activities. Children also swim at the Black Point beach.

The cost of the program is $75,000, which includes $25,000 from the federal government that pays for the meals.

The remaining $50,000 has always fell to local taxpayers. Beginning in 2010, that portion of the program cost will be paid by parents of participating children.

"The only way we could afford to keep the program is to ask those who use it to contribute a share," Malaney said.

The program, based at Ticonderoga Elementary School, has attracted about 200 children in the past.

Besides sports, games and arts and crafts activities, the program has featured trips to local attractions, ice skating, a train ride and a visit to the training camp of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Albany.

Also included in recent years was a music program under the direction of Nelson Shapiro and Megan Walls.

The town looked for alternative sites in 2009 to house the summer program, looking at the Ti Armory, St. Mary's School and Silver Bay.

The Armory and St. Mary's lacked adequate space, while the cost of transportation to Silver Bay eliminated that option.

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