SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The Salisbury parks and recreation department has received $50,000 in funding from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation in support of a new Teen Center program to be offered at the Miller Recreation Center, 1402 W. Bank St.
The program, for children ages 10-17, will offer mentoring, life skills, homework assistance and recreation opportunities.
The city parks and recreation staff will lead the programming and coordinate with community organizations to offer supplemental programming and activities, as well as specialized programs, such as DJ and music classes, gardening, etc.
"Our staff is excited to bring this program to the community, said Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves. "We look forward to making a stronger connection with our youth and offering a broad array of programs that the members themselves will have input on as the initiative comes to life."
"On behalf of the City of Salisbury, I would like to thank the Robertson Foundation for its generous gift to help make this worthwhile project possible," said W. Lane Bailey, Salisbury city manager. "I'd also like to thank Nick and his parks and recreation team for developing solid recreational programming for our youth."
Funding received from the Robertson Foundation will provide staffing (positions are currently posted on the City of Salisbury website), an ID card maker, cameras, new computers for the computer lab, and other recreation supplies for the free youth program.
"This is a truly exciting time in Salisbury," said Jason Walser, executive director of the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation. "Many great things are happening in our community, and the Robertson Family Foundation is proud to be able to help launch this new program, which we think will impact many youth in Salisbury for years to come. We appreciate the dedication of city leaders who are working to create as many opportunities for our community's youth as possible."
In addition to working with community organizations, Teen Center staff will be working with other city departments, such as the Salisbury Police Department, in an effort to create a closer bond between community youth and city personnel. Such efforts will include teens and officers playing pool, foosball and video games together. Also, members will receive a renewable picture ID that will allow them to ride Salisbury Transit buses at no charge.
The free program will be open year-round after school with extended hours in the summer. The Miller Recreation Center will still be utilized during the day for senior programs and community meetings.
The facility is set to have a grand re-opening in January 2018. For more information call Nick Aceves at (704)-638-5299 or Delando Clowney at (704)-638-2722.