Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Fort Wayne Parks And Recreation Department’s Community Unity Program Is Finalist In Showcase

Staff representing Jennings, Cooper and Weisser Park Youth Centers will travel to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to compete at the 2018 Summit on Out-of-School Learning for a $2,500 award. The competition will take place April 10, 10:45 am – noon. The Community Unity – Neighborhood Family Fun Nights program is one of five finalists in the Out-of-School Champions Showcase. Community Unity is a partnership between the Fort Wayne Police Department, Fort Wayne United and the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department. The free program, which has been offered three times at each youth center, features a community dinner along with games and prizes for the kids. Most importantly, it provides a neighborhood safety forum where officers can interact with families in a relaxed, fun atmosphere while they share what they’re doing, and what families can do, to keep neighborhoods safe.

“This program has been very well received and we’re excited to offer it again this year,” said Chantell Davis, Manager of Neighborhood Programs. “Community Unity is building bridges and giving insight to those who need to work together, be there for each other and trust one another—families and our police department.”

Jennings, Cooper and Weisser Youth Centers will be closed on April 9 and 10 due to the competition in Indianapolis. Normal hours, 3 – 8 pm, will resume at all youth centers on Wednesday, April 11.

More info about the 2018 Indiana Summit on Out-of-School Learning below:

While federal funding for afterschool is at risk for more than 20,000 kids in Indiana, more than 750 youth workers, educators and community leaders from across Indiana will come together to raise up the importance of programs and share the latest ideas on afterschool and summer programming.

Afterschool and summer learning programs help Indiana’s families and economy thrive. When kids have no place to go after school, they miss important learning opportunities, parents lose 8 days of work, and businesses lose $300 billion a year.* The Summit highlights the power of afterschool to prepare youth for brighter futures, and outlines the best practices to make that happen.

The Indiana Convention Center will come alive April 9-10, with two days of exciting keynote speakers, networking events, exhibitors, and 70 engaging workshops. The seventh annual Indiana Summit on Out-of -School Learning is hosted by the Indiana Afterschool Network, with more than 70 partners and sponsors, including the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and Indiana Secretary of State Office.

This is one of the best run, high-energy events that we attend. The Summit makes everyone feel like they’re a part of something special – Mary Roberson, Superintendent, Perry Central Community Schools

Indiana Afterschool Network president Jamie Johnson will kick off the Summit highlighting this year’s theme, Engagement. Passion – Purpose – Impact. This Summit Opening Plenary launch at April 9, 8:30am will also feature Attaboy, an Indiana band that combines energetic and relevant music with a powerful spoken message.

Indiana artists Deborah Asante and Cathy Morris will deliver the Lunch Keynote on April 9 at 12:30 pm. Their performance will highlight art as a state of mind. The message will illustrate the connections between the work of youth workers and artists, using creative problem solving and inspiration to build the programs that bring inspiration and help our Indiana youth thrive.

Exciting Summit features include: the “Innovation Alley” of interactive, hands-on exhibitors; Champions Showcase where the audience votes for afterschool champions of the year April 10, 10:45am-noon (2018 finalists: AYS, Inc., Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Lide White Memorial Boys & Girls Club, Michigan City Area Schools – Safe Harbor and ProAct Indy); and an Ice Cream Celebration April 10, 4:15 pm.

A Special Evening Networking Reception sponsored by the Indiana Secretary of State for attendees, public officials, and special guests takes place at the Punch Bowl Social April 90h, 4:30–6:30 PM. The event includes entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and more.