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County Executive Falk Presents Funding Award for Youth Centers in Oregon, Monona / Cottage Grove and Madison

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Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
David Carlson (608) 242-6424


Issued By: County Executive
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Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today presented three awards totaling $21,000 to support youth centers in Oregon, Monona/Cottage Grove and the O'Keefe Middle School/Atwood Avenue area in Madison. The awards were announced at the new Oregon Youth Center.

"Individuals in each of these communities were willing to work hard to raise the funds needed to match the county grants we are announcing today," said Falk. "They knew that if kids have a comfortable, safe and fun place to go after school, both the kids and the community would be better off," said Falk. She also recognized the leadership of the Dane County Youth Commission in spearheading the drive for more youth centers.

The awards go to two new programs, in Oregon and in the Monona/Cottage Grove community. The third award goes to an expanded program at the Atwood Avenue Community Center in the O'Keefe middle school area in Madison.

The awards today bring the total number of Dane County supported youth centers to 14.

"It's been proven time and again that youth centers work. They keep kids out of trouble, they provide recreational and learning opportunities, and a youth center is a safe and fun place to hang out with friends," said Falk. "Recent research has proven what most people know intuitively to be true. The ages of 12-13 are critical in forming attitudes about and access to drugs, and the hours after school are when kids are most likely to commit a dangerous or self destructive act or be the victim of violence," said Falk.

During the past four years, Dane County has invested more than $365,000 in funding for youth centers. Local financial and insurance institutions have also contributed more than $81,000 to youth centers in the past four years and Attic Angels Foundation has contributed more than $34,000 since becoming involved in the program two years ago.

"Youth centers like those we are recognizing today are about providing positive activities and experiences for all kids in these communities. The trained staff and caring volunteers provide supervision, and centers provide such diverse activities as sports, field trips, mini-courses, special interest clubs and tutoring," said Jonathan Hajny, chairman of the Dane County Youth Commission. "In short, youth centers provide a place where youth can grow, learn and find success."

The first county supported youth center was started in Stoughton in 1992. Other youth centers in Dane County are located in Cambridge, McFarland, DeForest, Middleton, Sun Prairie and Mount Horeb and the White Horse, Cherokee, Sennett and Jefferson middle school districts in Madison.
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