These 37 Organizations Receive Money for Positive Youth Development and Violence Prevention | Crime News

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Dozens of community organizations will receive $425,000 in grants for summer camps and events targeting young people in Richmond neighborhoods that experience high rates of violence, the city and nonprofit NextUp RVA announced Monday. nonprofit that distributes federal funds from the American Recovery Plan Act.

The grant program, named the Positive Youth Development Fund, is part of the city’s gun violence prevention initiative.

Another round of grants totaling $475,000 will be awarded later this year for programming in the 2022-23 school year.

The remainder, approximately 10% of the $1 million total, will remain with NextUp RVA for its administrative and monitoring costs.






Jeanine Turner, Director of Programs for NextUp RVA, interviews some members of the groups selected as recipients of grants from the Positive Youth Development Fund.


ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH



NextUp already oversees about 60 organizations that provide after-school programs for Richmond public school students, according to executive director Barbara Couto Sipe.

Sipe said the grant program was a “natural fit” for the nonprofit to see kids engage and enrich themselves over the summer as well.

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“The more kids do, the better,” she said. “I would love to see every teenager busy from sunrise to sunset doing great programs from June to September.”

This first round of recipients includes 37 organizations that offer summer camps or events for young people aged 12 to 19 or their families. Sipe said this age group is where “the biggest gap” exists in terms of programming.

She estimates that only about five of the 37 organizations overlap with NextUp’s current after-school network.

Sandra Sykes, who runs the New Life Community Center at the New Life Deliverance Tabernacle on Decatur Street, said the grant she received – $18,000 – will help double the number of children they have in the camp. church basketball this summer, which lasts four days a week for three weeks.

Typically, around 25 children are enrolled, but Sykes is expecting around 50 this year.

“During these three weeks, we know these children will be safe,” she said.

That’s the goal, Sipe said.

“We must do everything we can to prevent violence in our community and protect our children and their families,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in a news release announcing the organizations. “Making grants available to grassroots organizations that know and work in the community will help ensure that those closest to affected communities have the resources needed to disrupt the cycle of violence and encourage positive development for our youngest residents. “

Sipe said the nonprofit will also check in with organizations to measure how many children are participating and how often, and will follow up with those students to see if they have seen any improvements in their schooling. or their self-esteem.

For a full list of programs, click here.

The grants are just one part of the city’s gun violence reduction strategy, which also includes a gun buy-back program as well as the hiring of a community safety coordinator and violence” civilians to defuse the conflict.

arockett@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6527

Twitter: @AliRockettRTD

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