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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
October 2, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265
Barb Baier, City Grant Coordinator, 441-8272

GRANT WILL PROVIDE VISTA WORKERS FOR YOUTH PROJECT
Effort also under way to open teen center at Park Middle School

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today announced that the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded $890,541 over three years through the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund the Youth Achievement Project. The grant will fund 25 VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) workers for the Lincoln project, which was one of only 13 applicants selected nationally for funding.

The Youth Achievement Project will provide tutoring, mentoring, post-secondary career exploration, youth leadership training, Points of Light volunteer recruitment and management training, and cultural preservation services to 1,000 minority, new American and low-income children living in Lincoln.

“We are committed to helping low-income, minority and refugee families meet the needs of their children,” said Mayor Seng. “This grant for the Youth Achievement Project is an investment in our young people that will have both immediate and long-term benefits for families and for this community.”

The VISTA workers will be assigned as follows:

  • The Parks and Recreation Department will assign up to10 VISTA workers to recreation centers, such as the “F” Street Community Center where today’s announcement was made.
  • Up to 12 VISTA workers will be assigned to six minority and new American community centers and/or organizations including the Malone Center; the Hispanic Community Center; the Lincoln Interfaith Council’s African Multicultural Center and Faces of the Middle East Project; the Asian Community and Cultural Center; and the Lincoln Indian Community Church.
  • Leadership Lincoln - Youth Leadership, Volunteer Partners and the Lincoln Arts Council will each be assigned one VISTA worker.

Plans call for some of the VISTA workers assigned to the Parks and Recreation Department to work at a new teen center being developed at Park Middle School, 855 South 8th. An effort is under way to raise $100,000 to renovate an underused area of the school and to provide staff, materials and equipment for the teen center.

“The new teen center would work closely with the “F” Street Recreation Center to provide programs,” said Lynn Johnson, Lincoln Parks and Recreation Director. “We plan to form a teen center council made up of students who will help us plan the improvements and generate ideas for programming.”

Tax-deductible donations for the project can be sent to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2740 “A” Street, Box 201, Lincoln, NE 68502, attention Bill Woito/Park Teen Center.

VISTA workers are adults of any age who dedicate one year of public service to their nation and community in return for a living stipend and cash award (upon successful completion of the year of service). VISTA workers can serve two years. Lincoln’s VISTA workers will include 21 recruited from Lincoln and Nebraska and five recruited nationally.

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