July 20, 2016
The Flint & Genesee Chamber’s afterschool and summer youth programs will continue to provide high-quality educational and enrichment opportunities thanks to more than $3.9 million in funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
“Summer may be here, but there’s no vacation from learning,” said Mott Foundation President Ridgway H. White. “We want to see every young person in Flint and Genesee County succeed in school, work and life. And we believe that now, more than ever, year-round academic, recreational and enrichment opportunities are essential to providing our kids with the tools and experiences they need to achieve that success.”
Of the funding, $3.1 million will support YouthQuest, an afterschool and summer program that serves more than 2,000 K-12 students at Flint Community School, Carman Ainsworth Schools and Flint International Academy.
An additional $825,000 will benefit TeenQuest, a pre-employment training program for Genesee County high school students, and the Summer Youth Initiative, which helps TeenQuest grads find summer employment with area businesses and nonprofits.
The grants reflect the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to quality education for area children and their families, said White. They also are part of the Foundation’s recent pledge of up to $50 million over one year — as much as $100 million over five years — to help Flint recover and rise from the water crisis.
“Many of the students in our afterschool and summer programs have been impacted by the water crisis in one way or another,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “The Mott grants allow us to continue delivering quality programming that meets the unique needs of these children and their families, while also helping our young people to get involved in the recovery effort and contribute to moving Flint forward.”
According to Herman, YouthQuest staff will receive training on how to identify possible health, developmental and behavioral issues related to lead exposure. Over the coming school year, the program also will help families connect with information and services intended to mitigate the effects of lead exposure, and students will launch neighborhood recycling programs to help dispose of the plastic water bottles distributed throughout the community.
Additionally, this year’s SYI participants also learn about the importance of good nutrition in mitigating the effects of lead exposure. Many will work with local nonprofit agencies to plant community gardens, distribute nutritious food to residents and raise community awareness about healthy eating.
For more information about the Chamber’s youth programming, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/learn.