WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — How to face everyday challenges and problem solving are just two of the things Camp Fire kids learn every day through its after school program and now that program is expanding all thanks to a grant of $25,000 from the Howmet Aerospace Foundation

Camp Fire President Jeff Watts knows first hand how impactful the resources at Camp Fire can be for the youth who spend time there.

“Camp Fire is fantastic. I was fortunate to have a mother that was active and my sisters all went through the program and I grew up around it before boys were a part of Camp Fire but got exposed to so much and it is an exciting program,” Watts said.

Hundreds of local children attend the Camp Fire After School Program each day and get to learn about various STEM subjects. A program that Howard McDaris and the Howmet Aerospace team said they’ll always do to serve those children.

“We know that it’s a need. We have a lot of youth in this community that may not be exposed or have the resources to be exposed to things like stem so this is just an additional benefit to get hands-on activities,” McDaris said.

Over the years, the Howmet Aerospace Foundation has contributed nearly $200,000 in donations to Camp Fire. A generosity that Watts said means the world to Camp Fire but especially these children.

“Is this not fantastic to receive from a great company like Howmet? The contribution, $25,000, coming from their foundation. They are so actively involved and have been involved with us for a long period of time,” Watts said.

It’s a relationship that McDaris says will continue well into the future.

“The employees of Howmet are real proud to be a part of the community and the company is proud to have its stewardship and corporate sponsorship of its nonprofits and we’re proud to team up with Camp Fire,” McDaris said.

“We’re so fortunate to be involved with them and get to do wonderful things that these kids may never be exposed to. And, we hope that this money goes towards this endeavor and we make scientists, and mathematicians and doctors, you name it,” Watts said.

Shaping the lives of many children, for years to come.

Camp Fire’s special services after-school program program began in the 70s with one staff member who transported children from one school in her own vehicle to Harrell park.

The program has since grown from that one group to 80-100 children attending each day who are transported from 21 schools in 12 vans driven by 17 staff members.