SAFE BASE to stay

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Angela Henry can breathe easy — at least for a while.
The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City awarded SAFE BASE $135,000 for the 2009-10 school year. With other funding identified, Henry anticipates having about $225,000 when the fall semester starts.
That won’t be quite enough to do all the after-school and summer programs done this year, but Henry is confident “we’ll be able to get by” and attract additional funding to make up the difference.
Henry and others on staff will continue to write grants for SAFE BASE’s 10th year. About $250,000 is needed for a comprehensive, full-year program.
The city of Iola gave the program $17,350 in 2008-09. City Administrator Judy Brigham said she thought Iola would continue to fund the program “at some level.”
On July 1, Henry will learn whether the USD 257 program will win a $3 million federal grant. That would ensure SAFE BASE funding for four years and benefit other local groups that depend on grants and donations.
“We wrote funding into the grant for Hope Unlimited, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Thrive Allen County and several other groups that depend on year-to-year funding,” Henry said. “With the number of applications and awards that will be given, our chances are about 6 percent. That’s not real great, but you never know. Someone is going to get the money.”
SAFE BASE will continue to meet at Lincoln Elementary School four afternoons a week next school year for tutoring and enrichment activities.

THIS SUMMER’S activities, under current funding, start Monday for a four-week run.
Each day will have three 50-minute sessions, for math, reading, and nutrition one day, art the next and mental health activities the third.
The fourth day of each week, 150 kids enrolled in the summer program will have an all-day field trip. The first is to Cowtown in Wichita, the second to Woolaroc near Bartlesville, Okla., the third to Haskell Indian Nations, Lawrence, and the fourth back to Wichita for Exploration Place.