Companies Helping Communities


Critical for our childern

When school is not in session, working parents or parents trying to further their own educations are faced with a troublesome dilemma – finding a suitable place to leave their children while they are at the workplace or in the classroom.  The data show that peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and sex are between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Children that are unsupervised for long periods of the day are much more likely to spend unhealthy amounts of time playing video games, pursuing unhealthy activities relative to social media, and engaging in poor nutritional habits. With West Virginia currently having the second-highest obesity rate in America, it becomes critical for our children to enjoy and participate in the balanced meals and nutritious snacks available each day of summer camp and during all other out-of-school-time programmings.

Provides an opportunity for all students to participate in hands-on, 21st Century learning skills under the supervision of experienced S.T.E.A.M. trainers.

Tomorrow’s workforce will require new and innovative learning skills that are difficult to obtain in the congested and over-scheduled school day.  Summer Camp activities are centered on hands-on, science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics projects that show promise for improving problem-solving skills, increasing volunteerism, and developing a sense of community pride.

Expands the scope of the student experience.

Many students, especially those from rural areas such as Wayne County, may never have the opportunity to experience dramatic plays at the Clay Center, visit museums across the area, or participate in group athletic events.  Each week, summer camp students swim at Dreamland Pool, take tennis lessons at the Greater Huntington Area Parks, and visit cultural centers such as the Clay Center and the Paramount Arts Theater.

Unfortunately, three-quarters of America’s schoolchildren are not participating in summer learning programs.  Despite the growing awareness that summer learning loss is a major contributor to the achievement gap between low-income and high-income youth, the number, and percentage of children participating in summer enrichment programs are startlingly low.

Employee Attendance and Productivity.

During the school year, working parents count upon the public school system to provide a safe and caring environment for their child or children.  During out-of-school times, this resource is not available to them and often, the result is increased instances of “calling in,” thereby putting additional strain on employers and coworkers.  Furthermore, even if parents are able to find marginal childcare, concerns about their child’s safety may cause them to be less productive on the job than they would normally be.

Twenty-First Century Work Skills.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce and the skills they are exposed to in high-quality out-of-school time programs demonstrate the students’ best chances for acquiring the kinds of skills businesses need today and will continue to need into the foreseeable future.

Why Partnerships Such as Companies Helping Communities are Important

High-quality programs for out-of-school times are relatively expensive. Hiring and maintaining highly qualified teachers, tutors, and mentors constitute a drain on program budgets that are often difficult for parents to support alone, Especially those with multiple children. The tuition cost for summer camp is $24.00 per day per child with an additional activity cost of approximately $75.00 per year. In total, the cost per child is about $1,000 for attending a 7-week summer camp. Many parents in our area can and do find the funds out-of-pocket to send their child to summer camp. Other parents receive state and/or federal funding assistance that allows them to send their children to summer camp. However, there is a large group of working parents who make too much money to qualify for state or federal assistance but not enough to entertain the idea of sending their child or children to summer camp. As a result, their children become further statistical evidence of the widening academic gap between low-and high-income children and all too often, perpetuate the cycle of poverty. And the supply of skilled workers for the workforce of the future is arbitrarily reduced.

This is the group of parents that the Companies Helping Communities Partnership will target for scholarships. To be eligible, the parent must be: 1) gainfully employed, 2) eligible for the USDA Free and Reduced  Meal Program but NOT Title XX Childcare Subsidy payments; and 3) have a household income greater than 150% but less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

We are asking area businesses to partner with Playmates Preschool and Child Development Centers, Inc. to make out-of-school time programs more accessible for this group of parents and their children who often fall “between the cracks: of public assistance. There are 3 levels of contributions: 1) Bronze (donations of less than $500); 2) Silver (donations between $500 and $999); and 3) Gold (for donations greater than $999). All donations are tax-deductible and,. Depending on the level of contribution, each contributing partner will be proudly displayed on shirts, banners, and other promotional items that will be developed and funded by Playmates. One hundred percent of donations to the Partnership will go directly to fund summer camp tuition and \activity costs. Playmates will support all administrative costs of the Partnership as well as scholarships and activity fees for at least 5 children each year. Playmates have provided extended daycare for its customers since its inception in 1983 and, through collaborative partnerships with the Wayne and Cable County Boards of Education, Currently manages a large afterschool and summer camp program with more than 30 programs operation within both counties. Playmates’ primary centers of operation ae national-accredited and have a long and successful history of managing projects such as the Companies Helping Communities Partnership