The Las Vegas Trail Revitalization Project and Catholic Charities of Fort Worth will hopefully be opening a brick-and-mortar community center later this year; until then, an RV will roam around the area to offer the community essential social services and resources. “This lets the community know this community center is going to happen,” Councilman Brian Byrd told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “This is Step 1 of that becoming a reality.” One of the center’s most essential offerings will be afterschool care for underserved children in the area, approximately three-quarters of whom do not currently have access to afterschool programs.
For 20 years, the Stamford City Police Department has been building positive relationships with students through an afterschool basketball program. Some 200 youths participate in the Mighty Might League, which is cosponsored by Trailblazers Academy and the Chester Addison Community Center. “It keeps kids active and gives them something to do and keeps them off the streets,” Officer Jerry Junes told the Stamford Advocate. “…. Officers involved get to know people from all over town. And the kids don’t see us as cops – they see us as friends.”
Middle school students from the GET IT Girls (Girls Exploring Together Information Technology) afterschool program worked with FCA US employees on hands-on STEM activities at an all-day technology festival last week. The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation made the day happen for 75 girls, who had a chance to work everything from augmented reality to the CAN-bus networking used to program cars. “I find it so enriching to bring a program like this here, it’s so fulfilling to be giving back,” Paulette Ozga, senior manager of ICT risk management and compliance at FCA US, told the Oakland Press News. “They give us a new way of looking at things, it’s fun for us too.”
Children from the U.S. and Mexico are exploring the arts together at Studio Mariposa. The studio – which is in Naco, Sonora, Mexico – offers a free afterschool program twice a week for students living on both sides of the border that includes music, weaving, finger-painting and other creative activities. Some 50 to 100 children participate in each session. “The whole premise is empowering kids on this side of the border,” Gretchen Baer, who started the program, told the Herald Review. “The more negative press that goes out about the border, the more we want to show how wonderful it is here and how great the kids are.”