AYER — With summer right around the corner, the Ayer Childcare Program has started planning its summer camp for children in preschool through grade seven.

The program is a nonprofit component of the Ayer Public Schools that offers before- and after-school programs as well as vacation camps for the children in area communities.

With the rising costs of fuel and admission prices to many area attractions, the program has found that providing a quality program for July and August could be difficult. Keeping this in mind, along with the desire to “provide a meaningful and educational summer camp experience to the campers,” the program and its Parent Advisory Committee have created a new way to help defray the cost of field trips.

Recently, letters went out to area businesses explaining a new initiative the program put forth: the Ayer Community Partnership Program. This program asks businesses to “partner” with childcare program to provide field trips and transportation.

There are four levels of “partnering.” The first is a gold partnership where businesses donate $500 and receive their company names or logos on the camp T-shirts. It is also mentioned in the program’s weekly newsletter and in the local newspaper. Silver partners donate $350 and receive recognition in the newsletter and newspaper. Bronze members, at $200, will receive a thank you in the local newspaper. The final tier is the “friend” level where you may donate any amount to help this worthwhile cause.

“We are astounded by the positive response we have gotten to this new program,” program Director Pat Russell said. “We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to attorney Christopher Walton, Dr. Lawrence Churchville, Union Capital Mortgage Corporation, North Middlesex Savings Bank, Nashoba Valley Medical Center and Mr. Phillip Berry for their contributions as our Gold Sponsors, and Lorden Oil as a bronze sponsor.”

The program is also hosting its Fourth Annual Fund-raising Supper to raise money for field trips. In years past the menu has included franks and beans. This year they are going Italian with a spaghetti supper.

In conjunction with the supper, there will be a raffle and silent auction. The raffle and auction’s grand prize is a set of Red Sox box seats! Two lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets that were donated by generous local business owner Phillip Berry. Other prizes include oil paintings, a stained-glass piece, a mountain bike donated by My Mechanic, and gift certificates and community passes to area businesses and attractions.

The supper will be held on May 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. The $10 raffle tickets for the Red Sox box seats can be purchased at the Ayer Childcare Program, from program staff members or at the spaghetti supper.