New Windsor youth group put on hold

December 13, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

After a successful eight-week run, New Windsor's Town Youth Partnership Experiment (TYPE) will be scaled back at least until January, Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. says.

The mayor said the experimental part of the project has ended and he is preparing to move into the next phase, to formally adopt the program as part of town Recreation Council activities.

"The whole purpose was to have an experiment to see if we could provide activities for the town youth," Mr. Gullo said. "The program was successful, because we addressed the need and some people did support it.

"Now that we have proven that the children will participate in the activities, I feel that we are at the stage where it cannot be managed by the mayor," he said Tuesday. "It needs to be formalized and adopted beyond the experimental level."

Although there has been a consistently strong turnout for the project's first phase, "Saturday Night Movies," the program has not received the support from adults in the community necessary to keep it running, the mayor told the Town Council and audience at the council's Dec. 1 meeting.

Residents Paula Eckenrode and Sandy Dieudonne have spearheaded the program since its inception Oct. 16 and have chaperoned the children meeting for the movies at the Brethren Service Center.

"It does not have the manpower to carry on," Mr. Gullo said. "We're going to hold off until January to give us some time to

rethink the program."

The original strategy included the town Rec Council eventually taking over the program, but that hasn't happened, Mr. Gullo said.

ZTC "I need time to lobby the Recreation Council to see if they will take it over," the mayor said. "The other option is to start a youth group and have a youth coordinator assigned to the program."

At the council meeting, Debbie Weishaar, president of the Pipe Creek Jaycees, said her group would like to get involved with the program and, perhaps, provide some of the support it needs to keep it afloat.

"The Jaycees had been talking about doing something for the youth in town since they [residents] were having all that trouble [with vandalism attributed to children]," Ms. Weishaar said Tuesday. "We saw a need."

Mayor Gullo told her that she would be contacted about her offer, she said.

The TYPE program is designed to encourage community pride, spirit and cohesiveness, and provide activities for youths who otherwise may have nothing to do on weekends. It targets children 9 to 16, who may have limited transportation to events elsewhere. All activities are chaperoned by adult volunteers.

The council voted Oct. 7 to initiate the movie activity as a four-week pilot program in which the youths would meet from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at a designated area within walking distance for most of them.

Since then, town children also have attended open gym nights at the Brethren Center and a Halloween party sponsored by TYPE organizers.

The last movie night was Dec. 4.

A Christmas party is scheduled for the children at 7 p.m. Friday in the Brethren Center, and an open gym night may be scheduled during the week that children have winter break from school, the mayor said.

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