08.01.06

Schumer Announces Central Finger Lakes Region Named As One Of The 100 Best Communities For Young People

Americas Promise Alliance Selects Central Finger Lakes Region for Their Work on Behalf of Children and Youth

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Central Finger Lakes Region has been named as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by Americas Promise Alliance. This first ever national competition identified the communitys work on behalf of children and youth.

This selection is great news of the Central Finger Lakes Region, Schumer said. Children are always our number one priority, and cultivating a strong sense of community is critical to the health, education and well being of our youth. It is important that organizations in the Central Finger Lakes get recognition for their efforts, and I will continue to fight hard for funding for programs supporting children in the area.

The Central Finger Lakes Region was selected for bringing people together to help their youth. The region has assembled leadership and structures that have a grassroots and collaborative nature in order to address the needs and concerns of the youth population. The community has a unique balance of rurality and infrastructure. The region is one of the most rural areas in New York State that provides a healthful environment including parks, lakes and fresh air for children. The region also possesses capabilities and assets, such as major colleges and cultural centers which promote their intellectual and social development. The people of the Central Finger Lakes Region take pride in having created a community where children and youth are honored, respected and invited to participate in decisionmaking.

Some of the initiatives cited by the Americas Promise Alliance, Chaired by General Colin L. Powel, include:

The Falling Through the Cracks program of Ontario County provides social and mental health service delivery and referral to children and families who have problems or concerns which need to be addressed, but are not serious enough to involve social services or the juvenile justice system. The program serves as a preemptive strike to deal with issues that could lead to more serious problems including violent behaviors.

The region received two 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants to promote the educational development of area youth and ensure their academic success. Additional programming from the Partnership for Ontario County provides area youth with resources that help them to grow up healthy, substance free and successful. This year, the agency will focus on the development of interventions for alcohol abuse through a National Institute of Healths Grant entitled Underage Drinking: Building Health Care System Responses.

The Natures Health Club program combines nearly unlimited opportunities for fitness in hundreds of varied, natural venues, along with great locally grown foods combined in a setting made for fun. The program is free to join and provides incentives for individuals, families and groups to get fit.

Formal educational programs including vocational schools and programs such as the New Visions Medical Career Program serve as resources for children. The regions public schools boast lower than average drop out rates and higher than average percentages of students graduating with New York State Regents Diplomas.

Success for Genevas Children is a notforprofit organization designed to improve the health and well being of children and their families. Since 1997, Success for Genevas Children has produced and distributed data reports that document the needs of families with children in Geneva. This data has supported successful funding applications for several projects including the Geneva Free Librarys Families Read Project, the Roman Catholic Communitys Social Ministry Coordinator, and Family Counseling Support Groups.

Seneca County Partners for Children has a mission to "Surround & Support young children and youth so they are born healthy, are prepared to enter school, have opportunities for positive youth development, experience family support and stability, and access to needed services.

Helping Us Build Better Assets (HUBBA), based in Yates County, is a group of people and organizations that help the community recognize and unleash the capacity to provide young people with what they need to grow up responsible, caring, and healthy. HUBBA focuses on youth through the promotion and establishment of intergenerational activities and programs.

Red Wagon Day is an annual Youth Leadership Summit that brings together children and adults to address important issues through workshops.

America's Promise announced the 100 Best competition in May and the Central Finger Lakes Region spent the summer creating a comprehensive application packet. Winners of the 100 Best Communities for Young People were chosen by a selection panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders. The selection panels decisions were based upon detailed information provided in their applications about each communitys efforts to fulfill five essential promises critical to the wellbeing of young people, caring adults who are actively involved in their lives, safe places in which to learn and grow, a healthy start toward adulthood, an effective education that builds marketable skills and opportunities to help others. For a complete list of the winning communities and details about the 100 Best competition, please visit www.americaspromise.org.



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