Community Program Opens Its Doors to Public June 15

A unique afterschool program that brings together inner city children, New Haven police, Yale University and other institutions, will hold an open house Thursday, June 15, to introduce the new partnership in the neighborhood.

The 1-4 p.m. event at the Hill-North Police Substation will highlight a year-long effort that arose out of Yale’s work with the New Haven Police Child Development Community Policing program (CDCP), where the focus is to mitigate the impact of an exposure to violence on the psychological development of children.

The community-building effort that began with street clean-ups, cookouts, onsite summer program registration and holiday events now focuses on a resource room for neighborhood children in the community room of the police substation.

“This project represents an important step towards realizing the ultimate goal of the program—to help build constructive neighborhood resources, relationships and activities for children that will reduce the likelihood of delinquent behavior as these children develop through their critical period of adolescence,” said Leonard Barbieri, program and policy analyst for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence at the Yale Child Study Center.

The resource room provides a safe and constructive environment where children can receive guidance and support in using the room’s resources, including access to computer instruction, books, tutoring and other planned program activities. Renovation work began in the fall with children participating in cleaning, reorganizing and painting the room, which now has four computers, high-speed Internet connections, a children’s table and chairs, posters and shelves well-stocked with books for children aged nine through 14.

“We intend to engage children in the Drug Education for Youth program and others 9-14 who live in the Hill neighborhood and wouldn’t otherwise use a library for help with schoolwork or as a location for afterschool activities,” Barbieri said. “In conjunction with the city library staff, the children will be encouraged to expand their interest to the new neighborhood community library presently under construction two blocks from the substation.”

The resource room will be open 3-6 p.m. three to four days weekly with six to eight children under the supervision of two adults. Once established, future plans include being open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays to offer planned programs including computer access and training for parents.

In addition to Yale and the city, other organizations involved in the project are The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, which provided a grant for renovations; the New Haven Department of Engineering; SBC/AT&T, which provided services and a donation to support the telecommunications expenses; the New Haven Public Library; the New Haven Reads Book Bank, and the Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven.

For more information or to attend the event, please email Sam Israel, the program manager, at or call him at his office at Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven, 203-865-3867.

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