Parks & Recreation Youth Center programs enhanced

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Press release from Parks and Recreation:

Parks & Recreation Youth Center Programs Enhanced
Reaching more youth with improved efficiency

(January 28, 2010) Today during the meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, Bennie Lewis, Manager of Neighborhood Programs, announced the enhancement of programming at the youth facilities in 2010. The four separate programs—Jennings, Cooper, Weisser and the Playground Program—will be combined into one Neighborhood Program to improve the delivery of services to a broader community.

Although the locations of the programs have not changed, the umbrella of the Neighborhood Program will provide the following advantages:

  • Reduced duplication of staff and services
  • Opportunity to reach more youth within the neighborhoods
  • Availability of extra trained staff when short staffed or during events
  • Allows Programming to continue without cancellation
  • Opens signature programs to an expanded community
  • Promotes Parks & Recreation within the neighborhoods, building trust and integrity
  • Provides a strong distribution network to promote events

The most exciting change is that the Saturday SBA Academy has been moved to Tuesday evenings. Feedback gathered over the years indicated that a weeknight meeting would be more convenient for students, parents and the teaching staff.

Lewis also announced a valuable partnership with Community Harvest Food Bank. Their Kid’s Café will provide meals for SBA, which will enable the Parks & Recreation Department to direct all funds to programming, rather than dividing it between food service and programming.

Girl’s Talk is a new mentoring program offered at Jennings Center this year. This is a forum for young ladies 8 – 18 to talk to an adult female about challenges they face at school or home. The girls also take on community projects and will visit an assisted living center during this session to work on a quilting project.

The following schedule reflects a heavy emphasis on homework, Math and Language Arts:

  • Pick up from Cooper and Jennings Centers: 3:30-4:30pm
  • Kids Café: 4:30-5:15pm
  • MAAT Ceremony: 5:20-5:35pm
  • Homework: 5:35-6:05pm
  • Language Arts: 6:15-6:45pm
  • Math: 6:45-7:15pm

SBA, located at Weisser Center, assists children, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, with math skills, language arts, and African and African-American history and culture. Cultural field trips, speakers, and events are used to enrich both the students and the community.


Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation 2010 Youth Center Events

  • January: MLK Day at the Grand Wayne Center
  • February: Black History Month
  • March: Public Safety Basketball League begins; Work Study Youth begin Park Cleanup
  • April: Great American Cleanup; Community Center Basketball Playoffs
  • May: SBA Program Graduation; ProAm Basketball League begins at PSA; AAU Youth Basketball qualifying tournaments, Malcolm X Birthday Celebration
  • June: Reservoir Park Fishing Derby; Teen Age Sunday Scholarship Program: ProAm Championship Tournament; Juneteenth Celebration
  • July: Playground Carnivals; AAU National Tournament
  • August: Summer Fun Day at Memorial Park; Harambee Festival and Parade; Black Expo
  • September: Back to school supply giveaway; After School Program registration
  • October: Red Ribbon Month; Safe Haven Awareness week & Basketball tournament
  • November: Thanksgiving Feast sponsored by Kids Café
  • December: Wassail; Christmas Dinner sponsored by Kids Café; Kwanzaa

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