COA Awarded Grant for “Riverwest Fights Back”

COA Youth & Family Centers was awarded a $70,000 grant from Milwaukee’s Fighting Back initiative. During 2003, Riverwest Fights Back will develop and deliver drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention based youth programs using a four-pronged approach: agency, family, school, and community. This award includes support for community programs and activities at the newly renovated Kilbourn Park, as well as three family “Super-Saturdays” and parent activities/workshops through COA’s Family Center. The grant also supports COA’s Goldin Summer Day Camp next summer in Kilbourn Park. COA’s after-school youth programs and family-centered programs will incorporate the four-pronged approach. The grant will also enhance the after-school Community Learning Center (CLC) at Riverside University High School and family literacy partnerships with Fratney, Pierce, and OW Holmes Schools. “This grant will support expanded Riverwest youth and family programming, including new community activities at Kilbourn Park,” said Tom Schneider, COA’s executive director. “It’s a great opportunity to get more Riverwest residents involved.” Clarissa Austin has already begun working as the Riverwest Fights Back Outreach Coordinator. Austin has lived in the Riverwest area and is familiar with the neighborhood, the schools, and COA, having previously worked in COA’s after-school “Creative Playground” for 7-10-year-olds, and COA’s HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) partnership with Fratney, Pierce, Gaenslen, OW Holmes, Palmer, and Maryland Ave Schools. Austin says she looks forward to seeing lots of Riverwest children and families at RFB events and activities. For additional information, or to volunteer to help plan programs and events, Clarissa Austin can be reached at 263-8383. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 2 – February 2003