Hartford Seeks Grant For New North End Family Resource Center
By JENNA CARLESSO
May 14, 2010
HARTFORD óWith a goal of educating parents on topics ranging from literacy to financial management, city leaders are looking to create a family resource office at the Parker Memorial Recreation Center, a North End facility otherwise dedicated to athletics and entertainment.
The city council introduced a resolution this week to apply for a grant of up to $450,000 from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
The grant would fund a variety of adult programs, such as classes on parenting skills, literacy and financial management, designed for parents of young children, said Carlos Rivera, the city's director of health and human services.
"There is very much a need for this," Rivera said. "Any resources we can provide to our families is a benefit."
The newly restored Parker Memorial Recreation Center, on Main Street near Brackett Park, includes basketball and volleyball courts, a pool, locker rooms and exercise equipment. Another portion of the 36,300-square-foot facility scheduled to open early next month will feature a community room, kitchen, library, computer lab and game rooms. The family resource office would be housed at the center.
The city council referred its resolution to apply for the grant to its operations, management and budget committee for consideration.
"I'm going to have to take a full look at it when it gets to committee," said Pedro Segarra, council president and chairman of the management and budget committee. He said there has been a need for the kind of programs that the office would provide.
"We're doing very little when it comes to that," Segarra said of the programs.
There are now five family resource centers in Hartford, but more programming is needed, Rivera said.
If the city gets the grant, Rivera said he hopes to have the new family resource office open by September. Services would be free, he said, and children could take part in the recreation or entertainment portions of the facility while parents are engaged in the programs.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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