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NAMPA — After funding for busing Nampa School District students to after-school programs was cut last month, two local organizations are stepping up to help.

The Nampa Firefighters Union and the Nampa Police Association have each committed at least $1,000 toward the cost of busing students to programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa, the Nampa Recreation Center and the Salvation Army. The Boys and Girls Club is also coordinating a donation fund for all three programs.

In December, the Nampa School Board voted to end funding for after-school busing to these programs, which saved the district about $84,000 as it works to repair a budget deficit. But the organizations say the cuts left some children without a safe place to go after school, and the programs don’t have the money to continue to fund the transportation.

“There are many safety-related benefits to supporting these programs,” Shaun Laughlin, vice president of the Nampa Firefighters Union said. “Although the benefits of these programs are immeasurable, a few are that they provide a supervised, positive atmosphere in which to learn, play, and have good social interactions with volunteers and other children.”

Leaders from the three organizations affected by the cuts have asked the Nampa City Council this month for $45,000 to get them through the end of the school year. The Council did not take action at the meeting. It costs about $8,000 a month to bus the 250 Nampa students that participate in the after-school programs.

Several donation club levels have been setup for the fundraising effort. Donors can purchase an “Adopt a Pass” for $150 that will provide funding to bus one child to his or her program until the end of the school year. The cost of busing one student is about $35 per month. Groups or businesses may “Adopt a Month” for $8,000.

Donations can be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa, an Idaho 501-c3, with a note specifying the money is for the busing fundraiser. The Boys and Girls Club is located at 316 Stampede Drive in Nampa.

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