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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2001

State Grants for Teen Reach Programs Expanded

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan announced today that more than $600,000 will be awarded to nine new Teen REACH programs throughout the state, expanding state support for initiatives that provide young people with after-school educational and cultural activities.

The nine grants announced today total $617,796. The expansion of the grant program raises the number of Teen REACH programs receiving state support from 76 to 85. More than 51,000 young people aged six to 17 participate in Teen REACH programs at more than 260 locations. Currently, state funding for Teen REACH programs totals $19.7 million. Governor Ryan has proposed a $22 million budget for Teen REACH in the Fiscal Year 2002 state budget.

"Teen REACH programs are an important part of the "Futures For Kids" initiative because they provide structure and encouragement to young people who otherwise would be at home alone or out on the streets," Mrs. Ryan said. "Within these programs, children can catch up on their homework, learn computer skills, play sports or engage in cultural activities in a safe environment."

Teen Reach initiatives are found throughout the state and help children fill the hours immediately after school when many parents are still working.

Teen REACH programs focus primarily on at-risk populations across the state and provide academic assistance and the teaching of life skills. Studies indicate that children are more likely to wind up in trouble during the hours right after school and before parents are finished working.

The new grants awarded are:

BUREAU COUNTY

  • Children's Home Association of Illinois -- $78,486

CASS COUNTY

  • Cass County Health Department -- $60,000

COOK COUNTY

  • Albany Park Community Center -- $80,000
  • Metropolitan Family Services -- $80,000
  • God Squad -- $80,000
  • The Link and Option Center -- $80,000

HAMILTON & JEFFERSON COUNTIES

  • Hamilton-Jefferson Counties Regional Office of Education -- $80,000

KENDALL County

  • Fox Valley Family YMCA -- $79,310

WHITESIDE COUNTY

  • Sinnissippi Centers -- $80,000

Governor Ryan stressed that this round of state Teen REACH grants targets areas where students have few existing options for safe, productive and supervised activities.

"Teen REACH fulfills many of the goals of the "Futures For Kids" program on a daily basis - academic excellence, healthy minds and bodies, alcohol and substance abuse awareness and safety," the governor said. "Teen REACH programs are a positive addition to a child's school day that also give parents peace of mind."



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