Mayor Rawlings-Blake Celebrates Partnership with Youth Sports Program to Increase Recreation Opportunities for Residents
Saturday Feb 16th, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (February 16, 2013) – Today Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Delegate Cheryl Glenn, Councilman Brandon Scott, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) and The Youth Sports Program (YSP) to celebrate the transition of the Furley Recreation Center to the Youth Sports Program. The move is another step toward the Mayor’s Recreation Center Task Force Plan to improve centers and create real community assets.
“We are grateful to the Youth Sports Program for working with the City and Councilman Scott to ensure that young people and families in this community can enjoy quality programming at this vibrant center,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Our effort to grow this great city depends on groups like them stepping up and working in partnership to make our communities better, safer and stronger.”
The Youth Sports Program took over the management of the center from BCRP in November. This partnership agreement is part of the Mayor’s Recreation Center Task Force Plan that invests approximately $20 million building three new larger community centers and substantially renovates and expands another. BCRP will also expand 10 existing centers and add new staffing, programming and hours to 16 centers.
“Recreation is not about the building, but making sure that quality services are provided to the youth of Baltimore,” said Councilman Brandon Scott. “Youth Sports Program is a great organization that has been providing a tremendous service to the youth and families of Northeast Baltimore for years. Last summer I received dozens of letters from their students asking that I help find them a permanent home. I am proud that we have been able to provide that through partnership with Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the Department of Recreation and Parks.”
The Youth Sports Program (YSP) has provided a variety of exciting sports activities for children and their families since 2003. They are dedicated to the provision of extra-curricular sports and activities to support family involvement and physical and social skill development for young children. YSP will provide after school programing, a summer enrichment program and a variety of sports activities.
“The Youth Sports Program has been serving the communities of northeast Baltimore City for more than a decade providing before and after-school care, mentoring, sports, and summer programming,” said YSP founders Kevin and Shantel Thigpen. “It is an honor to finally have a home to call our own. This is just the beginning and we look forward to growing within the city of Baltimore.”
The Department of Recreation and Parks has entered into several operating partnerships with organizations to provide recreation programing at eight recreation centers. All of the operators have committed to providing before and after-school programming, community access for meetings and special events and senior activities, open gym and field sports activities, education enhancement programming, and technology programs for youth. The centers and community partners are:
- Brooklyn O’Malley – Boys and Girls Club,
- Furley – Youth Sports Program,
- Towanda – Park Heights Renaissance Corporation,
- Collington Square – Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project,
- Ralph J. Young – Living Classrooms,
- Lillian Jones – Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project,
- Easterwood – Omega Baltimore Foundation.