CITY OF OGDEN,
YOUTH SPORTS PROGRAM
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
To provide the elementary age children (ages five through twelve years old) who live in either public housing or the inner city of Ogden with a sports and recreation program that emphasize the need for cooperation, teamwork, sportsmanship, and education and that will help them cope with the everyday trials of growing up in the inner city. To assist our youth in building strong ideals and the resistance skills necessary to avoid drugs, alcohol, and gang activities. To celebrate our diversity and work to make our youth stronger and ready to become productive members of our community.
OHA-MWC offers a free After School Sports Club to elementary age children that operates out of the Marshall White Community Center. This program runs Monday through Friday from the first week in September to the second week in May. Children are provided transportation from their respective schools each day and are taken home after the program. We offer a variety of activities with an emphasis on sports. These activities include: Homework and
tutoring, arts and crafts, field trips, swimming, workshops, team sports and individual sports instruction, and cultural activities.
During the summer months, when the children are not in school, The OHA-MWC After School Sports Club provides a five day a week day camp. The summer programs runs from the second week in June through the second week in August. Activities are relatively the same as in the fall, with the addition of summer reading and journal writing.
A few significant accomplishments are as follows:
1. As of the spring of 1998, 211 children participated in an organized sports league, such as Jr. Jazz/Starzz, flag football, jr. volleyball, dance, track and field. We sponsored, coached, and mentored 27 teams.
2. Forty-four children received $50.00 savings bonds for Excellence Attendance in school for the 1997-98 school year from the Jr. League of Ogden through one of our programs. Two high school volunteers received $500.00 scholarships for their leadership and exemplary standard as a role model.
3. We received the National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials National Merit Award and the Utah Parks and Recreation Outstanding Program Award.
2. When was the program created and why?
The Youth Sports program started in the fall of 1993. This program was created because of the great need for the inner city youth to have a sports and recreation program and to have somewhere to go after school and during the summer. During the 1992 school year, only eight children from the inner city participated in organized sports offered by Ogden City Recreation. Inner city youths were missing out on what over 3,000 other children in Ogden city were participating in. They were not receiving the skill development and advantages that come with playing organized sports. This program was created to address the needs of our disadvantaged or at-risk youths.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
There are so many areas and ways to measure the importance and effectiveness of the our youth sports program. We average over one hundred participants in each of our programs.
We have measured the effectiveness of this program by calculating the number of youths attending the program year after year and by monitoring the number of children who continue to participate in other programs at the MWC. The effectiveness is also measured by the number of participants that commence from our program and enroll and excel in high school sports programs, as well as, the increase in numbers of awards presented to our youths from schools and community programs.
On a yearly basis, school attendance is tracked to determine if our young people are attending school on a regular basis. Communication is open between school counselors, parents, police officers and teachers to provide input and support for the participants in the program.
Questionnaires are sent home to ask parents about their concerns and the effectiveness of the program.
The children in the program are presented on a daily basis Ďsports bucksí as an incentive for respectful and appropriate behavior during the program. It becomes apparent that the program is effective when our young people present their sports bucks to the MWC staff for the purchase of treats.
4. How is the program financed?
We are in a partnership program and receive funding from the Ogden Housing Authority and Ogden City Recreation. We receive some grant monies from the Enterprise Zone Initiative, as well as other small private donors.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?
It is a basic requirement for this program that all children participating in the OHA-MWC Sports Club must also contribute to the community through community service. It is our goal to instill a sense of community, self-sufficiency and pride in our young people. Parents are required to participate in the program and must volunteer fifteen hours a year or five hours a quarter, to enable their child to attend. Below are a few of our significant partnerships:
The OHA-MWC Youth Sports Program has developed partnerships with many local organizations and businesses. We work hard to involve our community with our program. Local high school students work as volunteers and coaches. Quite a few Boy Scouts have earned their Eagle Scout by doing their project for the youth in our program.
1. Jr. League of Ogden. This organization provides our youth with a program called "Jump Start". This is a program that helps the kids get ready for the school year by providing a new backpack and school supplies each year. They monitor each participantís attendance in school and reward those who have excellent attendance. They sponsor monthly workshops that help keep the children excited and motivated about school.
2. Eaton Standing Tall for Youth Foundation. This organization provides our youth with scholarships to attend basketball camps, baseball camps, golf clinics, outdoor week long overnight camps sponsored by Excel and the Norwegian School of Life, and special cultural events.
3. Letís Play (Ogden City Police )Sports. This program provides our youth with opportunities to work closely with a member of the police department through coaching in basketball, soccer, swimming, roller hockey, and hiking.
6. What are major lessons learned from the program?
The biggest enlightenment that we have learned since the beginning of our youth sports program is that every child given a chance to succeed will make progress. All children need the opportunity to belong to a group that can give them positive life skills. We work hard to ensure that our youth are beginning to gain the skills necessary to be great member of the Ogden Community.
The more activities a child becomes involved in the more likely the child will continue to participate in community/sports programs in the future. A child involved in an organized program is a child less likely to be involved in gangs.
7. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.