SC State’s National Youth Sports Program discontinued after 28 years

Friday, June 8, 2007

U.S. Congress eliminates NYSP funding from federal budget

A program offered by SC State that provides low-income youth with a constructive summer experience focusing on fitness, nutrition and academic enrichment will be discontinued for the first time in 28 years.

SC State will be unable to offer the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP), because the United States Congress eliminated NYSP funding from the federal budget in 2006. SC State was awarded $40,000 in carry-over federal funds (from fiscal year 2005) to operate the 2006 NYSP program, and was provided with less than $5,000 to operate the 2007 program.

“SC State’s NYSP summer program has an outstanding reputation in Orangeburg and surrounding communities; one that families have looked forward to for 28 years,” said Steve Martin, SC State’s NYSP project administrator.

“We regret that we won’t be able to offer this invaluable program this summer, and hope that funding will be available to do so in 2008,” he added.

Since 1979, SC State’s NYSP program offered low-income youth a five-week summer program teaching sports, as well as academics, on the University campus. Students participated in math and science classes and received at least one USDA-approved meal each day, allowing students who participate in the school lunch program to continue receiving nutritious meals in the summer. And, NYSP programs nationwide introduce participants to a college campus and encourage consideration of postsecondary education as a possibility for their future.

In the summer of 2005, four South Carolina colleges and universities, including SC State, Benedict College, Coastal Carolina University and Voorhees College, provided the NYSP program to more than 1,400 children ages 10-16. SC State enrolled 583 children in 2005.

After Congress discontinued funding in 2005, SC State was the only South Carolina institution able to offer the program in 2006; about 200 children were enrolled in SC State’s NYSP program in 2006. More than 200 NYSP programs operated nationwide prior to the budget elimination; about 50 colleges and universities will be in operation this summer.

Started by the United States Congress in 1969, the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) ran successfully for 37 years until the 2006 fiscal year when the program was eliminated from the federal budget. NYSP programs were able to operate in 2006 at about 25% capacity with leftover funds from the 2005 fiscal year. In 2007, many colleges and universities have shuttered their programs. A movement led by U.S. Senators Richard Lugar (R – Ind.) and Evan Bayh (D – Ind.) is afoot to restore the $18 million budget to allow for 2008 NYSP programs at the nation’s colleges and universities.