United Way of Santa Barbara County has been named a recipient of the prestigious federal Learn and Serve America/Summer of Service grant totaling $150,000 for Fun in the Sun 2010.

The local United Way was one of 17 schools and organizations nationwide selected out of more than 200 competitive applications to receive this award.

Half of the grant will go to Fun in the Sun-Summer of Service programming, and the rest will go directly to qualified FITS students through a $500 Summer of Service Educational Award (college
bond) to be earmarked for higher education.

Learn and Serve America is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The goal is to engage students, educators and the community of all ages and backgrounds in service and service-learning to enhance education, civic participation and communities. The Summer of Service program is a new initiative that was established under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in April 2009.

Since 1997, Fun in the Sun has been the only long-term, results-focused, comprehensive, safe, no-cost, out-of-home, summer education and behavior improvement partnership for Santa Barbara’s most impoverished, underserved and academically challenged children (ages 6 to 18) and their families.

The program runs five days a week for seven weeks beginning in late June and ending in early August at four sites in Santa Barbara County, from Goleta to Carpinteria.

— Jeanette Delgado is a grants coordinator/executive assistant for United Way of Santa Barbara County.