Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Effort to help families gets $529,000

Agencies aided in 3 counties

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Using state grant money to strengthen families, provide after-school activities, treat chemical dependency and, in the end, decrease youth crime, is now the job of 13 Northern Kentucky agencies.

        Four school districts plus court, counseling and other agencies in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties received $529,245 in community partnership grants — which are being administered by the state Department of Juvenile Justice — because of their proposed initiatives to decrease youth violence and juvenile delinquency.

        About $3 million was given to 64 agencies throughout the state. In Northern Kentucky, grant amounts ranged between $6,000 and $75,000.

        The highest amount went to Family Nurturing Center of Edgewood, which is a 20-year-old, nonprofit agency that serves families dealing with child abuse issues.

        Covington, Walton-Verona, Erlanger-Elsmere and Kenton County school districts also are receiving grant money. Kenton County Schools is receiving the most at $61,500.

        “Suffice it to say, we're excited. We're going to use it,” said Peter Lefaivre, assistant pupil personnel director of Kenton County Schools, a system of about 12,200 students.

        The grant will help the district work with at-risk third- through fifth-graders and allow a district guidance counselor, therapist or social worker to act as a liaison between the district and the juvenile court system.

        The grant also guarantees the district can offer Camp Ready To Go, a “beginning leadership conference,” in August. The two-day session will be geared for 60 children and their parents, teaching them resiliency skills such as anger management, esteem building and coping with dependency on drugs, alcohol, even tobacco.

        Mr. Lefaivre said the district already has been trying to help at-risk students in the fourth and fifth grades. It will now tackle third-graders because “it's just a really potent way to have an impact,” he said.

        Children's Home in Northern Kentucky also received grant money totaling $50,000. Although the Covington agency originally applied for $63,000, Executive Director Kathy Stephens is pleased with the amount.

        It will be used to start an after-school program for Covington students between 8 and 13 years of age.

        The grant amount will finance all but $30,000 of the program's costs.

        “We're delighted to have the opportunity to provide this service,” Ms. Stephens said. “We feel strongly that it will be of benefit to kids.”


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