News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

February 5, 1999


County Executive Approves $25,600 for Beacon Youth

Poughkeepsie, NY--County Executive William R. Steinhaus has approved $25,600.00 in funds for the Beacon Comprehensive Youth Services program which targets youth in Beacon five through nineteen years of age.  The program will be implemented by the Beacon Community Center and will focus on providing academic assistance as well as recreational opportunities.

"I feel very strongly about helping young people through that period when they need the most guidance," said County Executive Steinhaus."  Through this program we provide after-school activities for children five through thirteen and evening activities for young people thirteen through nineteen. This will provide assistance to single parent families who cannot always be there for their children."

The program has two component parts. The first component is called the Homework Assistance Program in which students 5 - 13 will be assigned to homework/study areas by grade. Here staff members will assist students with their homework, helping them both understand the material and develop good study habits. If they do not have homework, they will be given work to help them strengthen their competence in reading, writing and arithmetic. Computers will also be available as teaching aides and to help students with class assignments. The Homework Assistance Program will operate Monday through Thursday 3:00 P.M. to 5:00  P.M., but the after-school recreational program will operate Monday through Friday 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

"If these children can develop good study skills and the confidence that they can do well in school at this early age, then they will be better prepared to succeed later in life," Steinhaus said. "All children deserve this opportunity."

The other component is the Teen Recreation Program which is geared to thirteen through nineteen year olds. "One big challenge for our young people is to find safe places to go socialize and 'hang out'," said Steinhaus. This will provide young people a place to go, play basketball or just talk.  It will allow for informal, low-key conversations and "positive talk" to take place between teenagers and staff about school, jobs and decision making. The Teen Recreation program will operate Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M.. There will also be a Friday night Drop-in, from 8:00 P.M. to midnight, that will give teenagers a place in Beacon to hang out.

"We continually try to improve the future prospects of Dutchess County and the first place we must start is with our children," Steinhaus said. "By exposing them to other constructive opportunities we give them the building blocks needed to create a productive life for themselves."


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