Thursday, January 5, 2012

Safe Youth Project

The Alternative House Safe Youth Project, is an after-school program for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Our first Safe Youth Project in Culmore was so successful that we were able to open a second program in Annandale. The program provides homework help, tutoring, community service opportunities, computer skills, and recreational opportunities. We also provide an after school snack and dinner. It was opened after police asked Alternative House if we could work with younger youth. Local gangs have started recruiting children as young as 10. Waiting to provide prevention services beginning in middle school could be too late. The Safe Youth Project has exceeded its enrollment projection of 30 youth at each location and provides neighborhood-based services four days a week.

We have wonderful volunteers who work with the young people in these programs. Larry Fickau (“Mr. Lee”) is one of those volunteers. He works in our Annandale Safe Youth Project. This is what he has to say about his experience volunteering; “For me, the reward of being a volunteer with ASYP is seeing the smile on children’s faces when I teach them how to solve a math problem and, all of a sudden, they understand the method - or how to write a better composition and they find that they can do it!”

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