Investment in the future
Renovations complete at the Hornet Park Community Center to benefit at-risk youth program
The City of Beech Grove held an open house at the Hornet Park Community Center on Oct. 27. They displayed the improvements made to the community center in order to provide an “At Risk Youth Program” to area children ages 3-17.
“I think we can all agree our children deserve a better future,” said Congressman André Carson who spoke at the event. “That’s why we’re here today… I know that an early investment in our young people leads to greater success in school, lower dropout rates and less crime down the road. In fact, 90 percent of police chiefs surveyed said adequate funding of crime prevention programs like at-risk programs here at the Hornet Park Community Center, would be the most effective way to reduce crime in the long run. In amiss of all the crime our city has seen, we cannot forget that it costs far less to prevent crime than it does to treat the aftermath.”
These improvements and investments in area children have been made possible by a HUD grant in the amount of $237,500. Earlier this year, Mayor Dennis Buckley discovered that the grant had been awarded to the city in a previous administration and then forgotten. The grant was made possible to the city by the work of the late Congresswoman Julia Carson. It was set to expire in September of this year. Buckley, along with Beech Grove City Schools Superintendent Paul Kaiser, worked to formulate how this grant would be used to support at-risk youth. The community center give the children activities to occupy their time in a productive manner.
“I want to talk about programs that we’re doing now that were not being done four years ago,” said Buckley during the ceremony. “We not provide safe sitter programs. We provide high school equivalency classes through Central Nine. We teach English here now as a second language. We also teach Spanish. We conduct summer programs for kids, focusing on animals, science recreation and nature… We are going to encourage children to come in and get on the computer to learn. We will also provide tutoring to them. The fitness center will be used for ages 10 and up. That has all been replaced. We have a game room for children to play games…”
After the ceremony, guests were free to tour the facility. More information can be found about the center at beechgrove.com/hornet-park.html.