Sanders Aids Youth Programs 'From Bennington to Highgate'

BENNINGTON, September 4 - Senator Bernie Sanders toured the state today to announce federal funding secured to support juvenile delinquency prevention programs throughout the Vermont. These monies will bolster after-school, tutoring and recreation programs in Barre City, Brattleboro and Bennington, as well as on-going statewide efforts by the Vermont Coalition of Teen Centers.

Sanders said, "During the last session of Congress, I was able to allocate for Vermont over $700,000 in funding for a variety of programs geared toward at-risk youth throughout our state. These different programs will impact young people from Bennington to Highgate. This funding was included in the Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations Bill.

"Most parents know that these are tough times in which to raise kids. We worry about drugs, we worry about kids dropping out of school or doing poorly, we worry about kids getting involved in criminal activities.

"Obviously, there are a lot of ways to respond to these concerns, but what I have always believed is that we take a giant step forward when we provide young people with constructive activities so that they are not just hanging out on street corners waiting for trouble. Whether it is an after-school mentoring program, employment-internships, athletics, music, camping or just a place for kids to hang out together - our young people do much better when they are able to channel their energies into constructive and positive activities. That is exactly what these grants are about.

"Parents and police officers will tell you that the time from after-school to when a kid goes home is frequently a time when kids get into trouble. This is especially true when we have an economic situation today which often requires both parents to be working and no adult is at home. I am a great supporter of after-school programs and teen-centers and I hope that in the not-too-distant future we will have federal funding available which will enable every school in the country to provide them."

At the Montpelier Teen Center, Sanders was joined by Vermont Coalition of Teen Centers' director Hope Emerson, Barre City's director of recreation Stephanie Quarata, and young people who use the teen centers themselves. Sanders' work secured $133,500 to support the statewide Vermont Coalition of Teen Centers and $66,750 for recreation programs in the city of Barre.

In West Brattleboro, Sanders joined Orly Munzing, executive director of Strolling of the Heifers, at the Robb Family Dairy Farm. Sanders announced $89,000 secured for the Strolling of the Heifers youth program.

Closing out the day at Bennington's Mount Anthony Union High School, Sanders joined Principle Sue Maguire, tutors and students to announce $53,400 for the school's tutoring program.