At least it will for 60 children who successfully complete a youth/police training component of a city-sponsored mentoring program. They'll be paid $100 each as part of a $500,000 federal grant recently awarded to the city as an anti-gang initiative.
Each of the mentors will get access to $350 to pay for things like movies, museum visits and sporting events for the children.
The three-year grant is directed at 100 children a year aged 10 to 15 each year and was recently awarded to the city by the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant made news earlier this month because it was supported by an internal police memorandum that said the city suffered from a "gang infestation," with more than 4,000 members in about 130 gangs. The problem, the police memo said, was especially acute at the city's middle schools.
City and school officials subsequently downplayed the contents of the memo. Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said the numbers were more than a year old and shouldn't have been used. School Superintendent Steven Adamowski said the schools didn't have a gang problem.
City officials say the program is likely to begin early next year.Roughly $210,000 of the money will be used to pay the salary and benefits of the program's coordinator, with an additional $75,000 for administrative time for the city's Office of Youth Services.
Among the other spending plans, the city said, are: $10,000 to pay the Hartford Police Department to do background checks on mentors, $11,000 for food, $75,000 for the $350 mentor accounts, $40,000 for the youth/police training program, $20,000 for youth leadership training, $11,000 for trips and basketball tournaments, and roughly $29,000 for training.
Most of the money will be spent directly by the city or the mentors, except for funds paid to two advocacy organizations — the Search Institute and the North American Family Institute — for training programs.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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