TUSAYAN, Ariz. - As one of the only licensed childcare center in a 75 mile radius, Kaibab Learning Center (KLC) is an essential part of the Grand Canyon and Tusayan communities.
In the past the center has relied primarily on fundraising efforts to meet its financial needs. During the Jan. 20 Tusayan Town Council meeting, council members voted to contribute $30,000 in requested assistance and approved an additional $10,000 for the center.
KLC Director Michelle Pahl said the center was thrilled to have the request granted and was thrilled with the additional $10,000 from the council.
"We went in asking $30,000 and I don't think they wanted to take away from that but they wanted to also make sure the Tusayan residents got compensated in some way so they gave us $10,000 for the Tusayan residents and employees to get a 10 percent discount at KLC," she said. "I was blown away."
Pahl said she thought this is the first time the center has received financial support from the Tusayan Council.
"This time of year our numbers go down with students, it's the slow season, so I thought what better time to get support from the community," she said.
Pahl said the center is looking at other fundraising opportunities for the spring and said she hopes to get continued support from the Grand Canyon and Tusayan communities.
"In the past KLC has survived off fundraising," she said. "They've had to raise thousands of dollars in fundraising so the money we received from the town council will actually make fundraising more of a fun thing and not a necessity."
The money received from the council will be used toward operational costs, classroom materials, transportation, staff development, summers programs and will help keep current tuition rates the same.
"The council was very supportive of them and recognized their value to the Tusayan community," said Eric Duthie, Tusayan town manager. "It helps with the potential for scholarships on tuition for Tusayan residents. (The center) is a value not only for the Tusayan residents but for Valle and the park."
According to Pahl, Tusayan residents make up 23 percent of the center's cliental, GCNP 29 percent, Xanterra (a concessionaire on the South Rim) 8 percent, education 22 percent and Grand Canyon/Tusayan tourists 18 percent.
KLC provides childcare for children from birth to twelve years. The non-profit was founded in 2001 and currently has 40 students enrolled with a six full time and three part time teachers.
The center's primary sources of funding is through fundraising and donations by local businesses. Housing for its employees is provided by Xanterra. The National Park Service provides KLC with a building and covers utility costs.
In addition to its daycare/pre-school services and after school programs, the center plans to start offering summer camps.
The camps will be available for children from five to 12 years old and will start the week after Grand Canyon School goes on summer break and ends the week before GCS starts. The camp will run from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and costs $770 per child for the summer.
"This way we'll be able to accommodate the summer kids," Pahl said. "It'll be fun, we'll have guest speakers and do field trips and structured outdoor activities."
More information is available from KLC at (928) 638-6333.