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Grant to fund after-school program

December 03, 1997

Grant to fund after-school program

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Youths from some of Chambersburg's south end neighborhoods, where school officials say drug activity, vandalism and poverty prevail, are being targeted for a special after-school program.

The borough is receiving a grant of nearly $90,000 through the state Department of Community and Economic Development's community crime prevention program.

The grant was announced by state Rep. Jeffrey Coy, D-Franklin, according to Kristen Rawlings, an aide in Coy's Harrisburg office.

It will be managed by the Chambersburg Community Improvement Association, said Sam King, association vice president. The grant money will be used to hire two college interns and three high school students to run the programs for children, among other things, King said.

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The after-school project will include recreation, culture, tutoring, business mentoring and leadership training for students in grades four through eight in the borough's most troubled neighborhoods, said Grace Burroughs, who will help coordinate the program for the Chambersburg Area School District.

Members of the community will play key roles in the project, which is expected to start in March.

"There are some outstanding people in those neighborhoods who want to help," she said.

"We want to show children some positive things so they won't get into trouble. It will also be an incentive for them. We're starting in those grades because we want to begin forming positive patterns as early as possible," Burroughs said.

Burroughs said children from the targeted neighborhoods, which have high levels of poverty and crime, are at greater risk.

"We want to expose them to better things," she said.

The money is part of $1 million that Gov. Tom Ridge has budgeted for a grass-roots effort to reduce juvenile crime and create safer neighborhoods. The money goes to communities with a demonstrated plan to attack the root causes of crime in their neighborhoods.

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