Feedback: Budget Axe Falls On Upward Bound Program

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SUNY Canton has been denied federal funding for its popular Upward Bound program for high school students.

The year-round college prep program has helped hundreds of local students over the years.

Officials say its loss will be noticed.
 
Classrooms on the Canton campus, usually full of Upward Bound students, will be empty this summer for the first time in nearly seven years.

The students from nine area schools, including Ogdensburg, Massena and Canton, have been notified that the successful summer program has been cancelled due to federal budget cuts.

"We're not really sure why...grant funding was cut for this program at this time. We're kind of looking into it to see what we can do. Maybe in the future we can meet the goals that they need us to," said Greg Kie of SUNY Canton.
 
While current Upward Bound funding runs out at the end of the month, the college will still foot the cost to maintain counseling, tutoring and other support services for roughly 100 students through the end of June.
 
The program has operated in St. Lawrence County for the past 43 years - much of that time at St. Lawrence University.

More recently, it has been at SUNY Canton.

It has been geared towards motivating teenage students to continue on to college through academics and support.

Tutor and summer coordinator Kyle Backus said, "This program gave them something to look forward to and gave them hope that they could improve their lives and instill change in both themselves and in their communities."
 
Officials from the U.S. Department of Education did not return our phone calls for comment.

Meanwhile, SUNY Canton officials would not rule out the possibility the Upward Bound program could one day be resurrected or absorbed into another similar program.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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