The thermometer on the streets and sidewalks along 58th Street topped 100° last Saturday, July 20. But that blistering midday heat did not deter a team of young people from cleaning areas along the sidewalks surrounding Myers Recreation Center.
The young people and several of their dedicated parents are involved in a program sponsored by The International Institute of Academic Instruction (TIIAI) and Gateway to ReEntry both of which are Southwest organizations and are based at Myers Rec.
“Our aim is twofold: first, it provides community-building and paid summer employment for the youth,” advised Gateway founder and director Tracey Fisher. “And, it also initiates a mentoring activity for the young people and their parents which will run year-round.
The youngsters will attend workshops which cover physical and mental health, drug and alcohol risk awareness, community service, conflict management and like subjects. “It’s our plan that this year’s corps will become the leaders and mentors for a new group of neighborhood kids next summer and onward,” asserted Fisher.
At the same time, TIIAI and Gateway will be holding discussion sessions with parents on these topics and parenting skills.
The program is funded by city and state tax revenue channeled through the PA Gun Violence Reduction Initiative and the Community Crisis Intervention directed to neighborhoods impacted by violence. The state money was available through the work of Philadelphia state representatives like Joanna McClinton who supports the umbrella agency, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Gateway to ReEntry and TIIAI are based at Myers Rec. Center, 58th Street and Kingsessing Avenue. Those wishing to support their work with donations or volunteering to help with mentoring, reading help, or job skills should contact Dr. Carol Simmons, through the website www.TIIAA.org or at 610.284.6246.