Wheelock Named Lead Community Center Partner

October 22, 2010

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Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino, Wheelock College president Jackie Jenkins-Scott, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) executive director Daphne Griffin today announced a partnership for the Mattapan neighborhood between the City of Boston and Wheelock College which will support academic achievement in young people, youth leadership and development, and offer adult and family programs for people supporting children and youth.

"This partnership with Wheelock will provide invaluable support for children and families in Mattapan," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "I applaud President Jenkins-Scott and Wheelock College for reaching beyond their campus to create this innovative model which will improve the quality of life for our children."

As the community planning process unfolds, the Mattapan neighborhood may benefit from this partnership with Wheelock College in several areas including support and professional development from Wheelock on topics such as math and science education, special needs, language and literacy as well as building and supporting college aspirations and expectations.

Children and youth may receive support and encouragement in the following areas: Character Development; Sports-Based Youth Development; Life Skills and Competencies; College Planning; Technology and Media Literacy. Parents, families and other adults who support children and youth in the neighborhood may receive Intergenerational and Cultural Programming; Supporting Academic Achievement; College and Career Planning and Youth Sports and Coaches Training.

"Wheelock College has a long and successful history of working with the City of Boston on programs and initiatives," said Wheelock president Jackie Jenkins-Scott. "We are looking forward to working with the Mattahunt and Mattapan communities as this new project progresses. The mission of Wheelock College is to improve the lives of children and families. We will work collaboratively and cooperatively with the community to meet and exceed expectations."

During the City of Boston FY '11 budget process, BCYF made the decision to consolidate the Mattahunt Community Center located at the Mattahunt School with other local BCYF centers and seek community partners to maintain and expand programming. Wheelock College, which has worked with several City of Boston departments over the years, expressed interest in serving as lead partner for the Mattahunt. Their new role will be a complement to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston after school program that has been running at the Mattahunt for nine years.

"I commend Wheelock College for stepping up to the plate and partnering with the City of Boston to offer critical services and programming for the children and families of Mattapan," said Boston City Councilor Robert Consalvo. "During these dire fiscal times, it is more important than ever to utilize public/private partnerships so we can continue to provide the best possible services for our neighborhoods."

Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston said, "We have worked closely with the City of Boston throughout this entire process. We are pleased that Wheelock College will be joining us in serving young people and their families in Mattapan."

"I am pleased that through this wonderful opportunity services will continue for the youth and families of Mattapan," said Daphne Griffin, Executive Director of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. "This is a welcome opportunity to provide the neighborhood with more choices and more support."

A community planning committee co-chaired by Mattapan resident and Co-Chair of the Colorado Street Neighborhood Association, Gareth Kincaid, and Wheelock College Special Assistant to the President for Government and External Affairs, Marta Rosa, will begin meeting soon to ensure that neighborhood residents are involved and informed as Wheelock designs program specifics.

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