When budget cuts forced the Brookings School District to do away with summer school, the community responded. Now, thanks to some creative fundraising, the program is back and growing stronger each year.
This is not how most kids want to spend their summer vacation, but 10-year-old Kyle Bauer knows the extra lessons will make a big difference this fall.
"So you can catch up on all the things that you have struggled in third grade and to have success in fourth grade," Bauer said.
Bauer and 80 other children in Brookings County once again have that opportunity for success.
"The Power Up program kind of replaced what the Brookings School District had for years as a summer school program," Nancy Hausman said.
Last year, the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings asked the United Way for an emergency grant to get kids back in the classroom.
"It was just a program to maintain and improve on some reading and writing skills," Hausman said.
It costs money to fund programs like Power Up. That's why this blue pickup truck is sitting in front of the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings. It can be yours through a raffle with all of the proceeds going to the organization.
"It gives the donor a chance to support the kids but then a chance to win two really great prizes," Emily Carruth said.
The Boys and Girls Club is selling 1,000 tickets at $100 a piece for a chance at the truck or a trip to Florida. The organization sees 400 kids every day; the proceeds will go to support all of its programs, including Power Up. However, it's short of its goal.
"Just two days before the raffle event, still having 400 tickets, we are falling a bit short," Carruth said.
They're hoping last-minute donors come forward because the biggest prize of all will go to hundreds of local kids.
"It’s pretty fun," Bauer said.
The Boys and Girls Club of Brookings won a national merit award for the creation of the Power Up program.
If you're interested in buying a raffle ticket you can do so at the Boys and Girls Club website.