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Baden Street Settlement, Boys & Girls Club to receive federal funding

The Boys & Girls Club of Rochester could receive nearly $100,000 as a result of the recently passed appropriations bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“For 50 years, the Boys & Girls Club has been a beacon in the Rochester community, providing a safe haven for our young people to learn, grow and thrive,” said Congressman Joe Morelle in a statement Saturday. “They’re on the front lines supporting our youth, especially during these challenging times that can further exacerbate stress and trauma. That is why I am proud to have helped secure critical funding to enhance the services Boys & Girls Club offers and set Rochester’s youth on the path toward success.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is an after-school and weekend youth program that provides a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for children in the Rochester community.

The $98,400 in funding will enable the Boys & Girls Club to seek enhancement of current programming and expansion of its curriculum to include STEM, entrepreneurship, career-readiness training and more. The investment also will ensure staff members are trained to address the trauma and mental health challenges many of the children face, which have been further highlighted by the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials noted.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester are honored and overwhelmed at the same time to be the recipient of the support provided by Congressman Morelle,” said agency Executive Director Dwayne Mahoney. “Especially in this critical time, it is essential that we keep our kids safe, healthy and engaged in meaningful activities to ensure their progress to a better future. No one knows that better than our congressman and we greatly appreciate him for understanding and delivering for the young people in Rochester.”

Separately last week Morelle announced that more than $500,000 was included in the House appropriations bill to ensure the Baden Street Settlement can continue to provide critical services in Rochester.

“For 120 years, the Baden Street Settlement has been vital to the success of so many in our community, and it’s critical we ensure those services remain in place,” Morelle said in a separate statement on Wednesday. “That is why I am so proud to have secured over $500,000 in the House appropriations bill for the Baden Street Settlement. This investment will allow Baden Street to make needed facility renovations and repairs so they can continue to uplift and enrich our community for years to come, and I encourage my partners in the Senate to join us in making this project a reality.”

Founded in 1902, the Baden Street Settlement provides essential services to Northeast Rochester — including childcare, counseling, emergency family assistance and youth programs for disadvantaged teens. The funding will help cover the costs of much-needed infrastructure improvements, allowing the center to remain a vital resource for the community.

“We at Baden Street truly appreciate the continued support of Rep. Morelle,” said Baden Street Settlement Executive Director Michael Marsh. “The money in this bill, when received, will help Baden make some sorely needed renovations that are necessary for us to continue our mission to support the Baden Street Community in Northeast Rochester. Initiatives like the Community Funding Project help vital organizations like Baden continue their essential work in our communities. We hope that this initiative here to stay.”

The funding is part of the Community Funding Project program, which Congress is implementing for the first time this year. Through the program, members of Congress are able to provide direct investments to areas of their communities that need it most. The funding was recently passed in the House of Representatives appropriations bill and will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.

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Partnership, children to showcase new trail connecting the Strong with Central Library

The Greater Rochester After-School Alliance (GRASA) on Thursday will partner with the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Healthi Kids, the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association (GRSLA), United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. and the Children’s Agenda to host a “Lights On Afterschool” event.

The goal of the event is to showcase the value, impact and necessity of after-school programming on the community and youth.

During the afternoon event, children will participate in the Play Walk Ribbon Cutting, the Play Walk being a new downtown trail that connects the Strong National Museum of Play to Central Library and ROC the Riverway projects. The new space gives youth and families a place to play and have fun before traveling to the library.

The celebration will continue at the library with hands-on activities and demonstrations made by kids and volunteers to show what they’re learning at after-school experiences. GRASA will also join with the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation, the Monroe County Youth Bureau, Rochester Museum & Science Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester to announce a six-month STEM education partnership, called Rochester Kids Engaging in Technology and Science (ROCKETS).

The initiative is designed to expose children to fields of study they can build a career on and build capacity for afterschool programs all over the city.

“Lights On Afterschool” is a nationwide celebration Oct. 24, expected to attract more than 300 youth and their families.