Tuesday, February 10, 2004



Recreation Plans For The Next Generation (02/09/04)

by KYW's John Ostapkovich


A revitalized African-American umbrella group has some big plans, not the least of which is changing the way recreation is viewed in that community.


Take the word "recreation" apart and you have "re" "creation", and that pretty well sums up what the Coalition of African American Organizations has in mind with its Generation Next project.


Still at the pre-drawing board stage, the project would begin with a $20-million privately funded center in one of four city neighborhoods to engage young people in self- and community improvement.


A long list of speakers, including Connie Little, says conditions among the young make this urgent. "They're not our future. They're our today."


The Generation Next center would offer 24-7 day care, media, meeting and athletic facilities, as well as money-making ventures to pay the bills.


Project organizers say city recreation centers are warehouses only, despite best efforts.


The NAACP donated $5,000 to kick start the project. Now begins the task of finding the rest of the funding.