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Brigham Center awarded federal grant


Contact: Christa Collier, Program Officer

For Immediate Release:
Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center
awarded Federal Grant

The Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center has announced they are a federal grant recipient through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The grant will allow the agency to expand prevention based services outside of the East Street facility throughout Berkshire County. The Outreach Program will work in collaboration with after school program sites and agencies throughout Berkshire County over a two year period serving 1,250 children and youth. Programs will be co-ed as well as single sex to meet the needs of all after school programs the center partners with.

According to Kelly Baity, Chief Executive Officer, “we will have our largest expansion since our inception almost a century ago as we will bring our programs countywide and our staff will outreach into other agencies and centers throughout the county bringing their members the same programming we offer at our East Street each day. It will be an amazing opportunity to participate in the programs offered in ABC School Age Enrichment, Girls Incorporated of the Berkshires and Youth Empowerment Services. While this is a great opportunity for us, it is an even greater opportunity for the children and youth who will participate in these programs from the North to the South and everywhere in between.”

The agency plans to provide programming  in the areas of delinquency prevention through literacy development, science based prevention based programming, group work approaches in the fields of leadership and community service, pregnancy prevention, self-defense & violence prevention and economic literacy. Prevention based programming will include National Girls Inc. curriculums including Action For SafetySM  and Living Safe and StrongSM - self-defense and violence prevention programs for teen girls;  Prevention Adolescent Pregnancy components Growing TogetherSM, Will Power Won’t PowerSM, Taking Care of BusinessSM and Health BridgeSM; Friendly PEERsuasionSM; a drug and alcohol prevention program, Kid-AbilitySM; a child self-protection program; Media Literacy; Career Exploration;  Economic Literacy components, Operation SmartSM, a science and technology based program. Additionally, outreach staff will offer Making Proud Choices and Wise Guys.  The Brigham Center’s LEAP for Youth (Literacy, Education, Arts and Progress) will also be part of the initiative in collaboration with Barrington Stage Company and the Berkshire Music School. LEAP creatively addresses the literacy needs of youth ages 5-18 by participating youth with creative outlets for self-expression in theatre and chorus programs and literacy based special events.

Currently the Outreach Program at this time are Kidzone, Northern Berkshire YMCA, Williamstown Youth Center, Youth Center Incorporated in Adams, the Salvation Army in Pittsfield and after school programs of the Pittsfield Public Schools. This program will be further expanding to other sites during the duration of the grant.

“National estimates suggest that more than 7 million children in the United States are without adult supervision for some period of time after school. This unsupervised time puts youth at risk for negative outcomes as academic and behavioral problems, drug use and other types of risky behavior.  Young people benefit when they spend time engaged in structured programs and activities that offer them opportunities for positive interactions with adults and peers, encourage them to contribute and take initiative, and contain challenging and engaging tasks that help them develop and apply new skills and personal talents” stated Christa Collier, Program Officer.

“This project will have significant impact on the youth in Berkshire County in order to reach them at the adjudicated and pre-adjudicated stage. Using intervention and prevention based services and programs, staff will seek to provide children and youth with services that will increase their conflict resolution and life skills”, stated Marlena Willis, Outreach Director.

For more information, please contact Christa Collier, Program Officer for the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center or Marlena Willis, Outreach Program Director at 442-5174. 

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