For Immediate Release
July 09, 2012
Boston Centers for Youth & Families
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino was joined by 125 summer campers, staff and community partners today at the BCYF Holland Community Center in Dorchester to celebrate the completion of the first of six new Rock Walls in the City of Boston.
“Today, we are here to showcase the first of six rock walls at community centers across the city,” said Mayor Menino. “These rock walls are rarely found in city community centers, but we believe you deserve the best and I’m proud we’ve brought the first one to the Holland. I’m really excited about these new features and how they can engage even more young people in quality programs.”
The FY13 Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) budget proposal included plans to bring innovative programming opportunities to BCYF’s facilities by breaking ground on rock climbing walls and high ropes courses at six community centers. These additions are assets that are rarely found in urban community centers and will include diverse features such as a climbing wall, a “flying squirrel” rope feature and a challenge course. The BCYF Holland is the first to receive the Rock Wall. The other five centers will begin construction later in the summer. All staff at the BCYF Holland Community Center have been trained and certified on the proper use of the equipment and have been working on incorporating related programming into their schedule.
Daphne Griffin, The City of Boston’s Chief of Human Services and Executive Director of Boston Centers for Youth & Families said, “Over the past few years we have been working hard to transform from a traditional gym and swim community center model to a model based on facilities that offer innovative and engaging programming for everyone. We are excited about what these new facility elements will bring to our BCYF centers.”
Today also marked the official first day of summer programming across the city and the Mayor highlighted the recipients of the Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! Community Grants which provide $350,000 to 88 agencies in Boston to offer summer programs in Boston community centers and parks. Collectively, these agencies offer programming to over 3,000 youth each week in the summer. Two grant recipients, Katjana Ballantyne, Executive Director of Girl’s LEAP, and Nam Van Pham, Executive Director of Vietnam American Initiative for Development (VIET AID,) spoke at the event about the importance of the R.O.C.K.S!!! Community Grant to their programs.
The Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! Community Grants are part of the Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! (Recreational Opportunities for City Kids) summer programming campaign. Now in its sixth year, Boston R.O.C.K.S!!! is aimed at connecting Boston youth with programs and activities. Led by BCYF, the signature programs for R.O.C.K.S!!! are free daily drop-in programs at ten locations in Boston called “Boston R.O.C.K.S Out!!!” and family-friendly cookouts at different BCYF swimming pools each week called “Boston R.O.C.K.S the Block!!!” In addition to these programs, BCYF offers over 50 summer day camps, dozens of recreations programs and many special events.
Information about all summer programs in Boston can be found by visiting www/cityofboston.gov/summer or calling 617-635-KIDS.