Local youth programs will share grant | NevadaAppeal.com

Local youth programs will share grant

JIM SCRIPPS

Federal money will soon be flowing in to the coffers of two local non-profit organizations thanks to a grant awarded Tuesday from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention.

The Ron Wood Family Resource Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Nevada will split about $31,000 in funds to provide preventative services for local at-risk youth.

Tilisa May, director of the Ron Wood center, said the money will benefit youth intervention and crime prevention programs.

“The money will go directly for programs services,” she said. “It’s mainly for one-on-one services. This will help us fill in the gaps and provide services over time.”

The center provides family education and counseling through referrals from places like schools and the local juvenile court system. They currently serve close to 300 children a year with six staff working on a $300,000 budget.

Since the center’s inception in 1995, they have relied on grants and donations to operate.

The Boys & Girls Club will use $15,000 of the grant to add six months to a staff position in drug and alcohol abuse prevention.

“We have a program called ‘Street Smart’ for middle schoolers,” said local director Cathy Blankenship. “Most of our energy goes towards the younger kids. Now we can spend money on things like food and trips.”

The “middle school coordinator” position will be funded from July of this year to December.

“What we determined at the club was that these kids were getting through the cracks,” she said. “Middle school is a time in a kid’s life when some serious decisions are made.”

Locally, the Boys & Girls Club services about 280 children a day from its Stewart Street facility, Blankenship said. A total of about 1,500 children are members.

The money is being funneled through a request made by the Carson City Juvenile Probation Department. The only organizations eligible to apply were juvenile justice programs.

Bill Lewis, chief juvenile probation officer in Carson City, approached the organizations with the idea of finding funding for preventative programs.