Hartford, CT Celebrates CDBG Program and Success Creating a Brighter Future for City's Boys and Girls

Monday, April 15, 2002

America's youth are the future of America, and Hartford, Connecticut recognized their own young residents as part of the city's Celebration of National Community Development Week, April 1st - 5th. The City highlighted how its success with HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has made a difference for the youth � and the future � of Hartford.

[Photo 1: Children sing at the "A Patchwork of American Life" ceremony.]
The City of Hartford is one of the more creative administrators of CDBG funds in Connecticut according to the HUD Connecticut State Office's Raymond Jordan. The opening ceremony, called "A Patchwork of American Life," included a poster contest, youth speakers, and performers representing organizations that receive Community Development Block Grant funds from the City of Hartford. Held at Hartford City Hall, the ceremony was organized by the City's Office of Grants Management and opened by Ms. Deborah Bush, City of Hartford Grants Administrator.

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez spoke at the event and gave his strong support for HUD's Community Development Block Grant program. The mayor also read a proclamation honoring National Community Development Week and spoke about the tremendous difference the CDBG program has made for the City and its residents.

[Photo 2: Irena Kaci speaks at the ceremony.]

Hartford Action Plan on Infant Health Breaking the Cycle of Teenage Pregnancy - The event featured a number of Hartford's innovative programs and the young people that participate or benefit from them. Irena Kaci, a senior at Bulkeley High School, shared her experiences as a program participant and counselor for fifth grade students in the Hartford School system.

[Photo 2: Craig Yennie speaks at the ceremony.]

Southend Knightriders Youth Center, Inc - Craig Yennie, a freshman at Trinity College, spoke about the life-changing difference the Center made for him. He has been involved with the center since he was 11 years old, and said that his experiences with the youth center made it possible for him to attend Trinity College - where he is studying to become a biochemist.

[Photo 4: Kindergarten students from the Annie Fisher School program at the program.] [Photo 5: Students from the Hartford Children's Theatre perform.]
Left: Organized Parents Make A Difference - Multi-Discipline After School Program: Kinder College - Kindergarten students from the Annie Fisher School program read an original poem and Michael Hanson, a 4th grader at the school, presented the Mayor and City Council with a token of the students' appreciation for supporting their program. Right: The Hartford Children's Theatre - Children used dance and drama skills to perform two original works of art: "The Brightest Star" and "The Tender Touch of Love."

The CDBG program is one of HUD's core programs. While it is celebrated during National Community Development Week, as it was in the City of Hartford and scores of other cities across the nation, it is praised by cities and counties throughout the year in every part of the nation. Because it is based on a flexible approach to community and economic development and encourages creative local partnerships, CDBG has helped thousands of communities improve the quality of life in low income neighborhoods, and give the residents of those neighborhoods - young and old alike - a chance for a brighter future.

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