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Youth Programs May Be Cut

(6/20/06)

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One county is facing severe budget cuts. These cuts could impact young people. Funding may be eliminated for youth centers in the county. This would leave young people with no place to go after school.

Many youth centers are expected to be closed by the end of the summer. People who operate the centers are worried. They say that the programs combined serve more than one thousand kids. County supervisors have to cut a large amount of money from the county’s recreation budget. A plan was presented that would give more money to the teen centers. Voters did not pass it. Police and firefighter budgets were also cut.

Teenagers at one facility are disappointed. They complain that they will have no place to go. These centers are important to them. They can get help with their homework, play games, and get to know other kids. These activities are supervised by an adult. One student said he got F’s in school before he started going to the center. Now he has raised his grades up to C's.

Parents feel that reducing these teen programs will hurt their children. One parent says that he sees kids get into trouble if they have nothing to do. Hey says that they write graffiti on the walls. They vandalize the schools. Closing the teen centers will give them more time to do these things.

The centers are safe places for kids to hang out. Kids can also learn a lot at the centers, too. Programs about healthy eating and staying fit are offered. Also, kids learn about ways to prevent teen pregnancy. Both parents and teenagers are upset about the closings.

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