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BUSINESS-GOVERNMENT-EDUCATION CONSORTIUM KICKS OFF 4-H AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR INNER CITY YOUTH

 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives from business, government and education joined together today at Imperial Courts housing development in Watts to kick off a major expansion of the 4-H Afterschool Activity Program (ASAP).
 The Imperial Courts program is the first step in the expansion that will establish 51 4-H After School sites involving 2,500 children in inner-city housing developments and schools in Los Angeles County by early 1996. The initial program site is funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Housing Authority City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and Unocal Corp.
 The 4-H ASAP provides educational opportunities, recreation activities and enrichment programs for seven to 13-year-old "at risk" youth living in and around city and county public housing communities.
 "4-H is working with the community to create learn-by-doing opportunities for youth so they can make wise choices throughout their lives," Roger C. Beach, Unocal president and chief operating officer said at the kick-off festivities. "The 4-H ASAP creates a nurturing environment that offers a positive alternative to unstructured, unsupervised free time in neighborhoods where gang-related activities are prevalent.
 "This is not a bricks and mortar building program. It is a building of the mind and spirit of at risk youth in our community."
 Joining Beach at the kick off festivities were Joseph Shuldiner, HUD assistant secretary for public and indian housing; Dori Pye, HACLA board chairman; Henry Vaux and John Pusey, University of California; Dr. Susanne Fisher, U.S. Department of Agriculture 4-H program; and Cynthia Mendenhall, president of the Imperial Courts Resident Advisory Council.
 Each 4-H center will have 25 to 65 youth between the ages of seven and 13. Each youth participates two to five times a week on a year- round basis in scheduled after-school 4-H activities including homework counseling and tutoring, physical recreation, and learning by doing project activities.
 ASAP activities include physical fitness and nutrition, gardening and plant science, computers, small animals, arts and crafts, photography and video, leadership development, communications, public speaking, and community pride and community service.
 The specific programs are developed with the advice and consent of the individual Resident Advisory Councils (RAC), serving each of the targeted housing developments. These councils provide referrals, parent outreach, staffing and community volunteers.
 The program will cost approximately $2.2 million per year once it is fully operational at all 51 sites. The major funding will come from the private sector and various government agencies. Unocal has committed to funding 11 percent of the cost to bring the new 4-H centers on line.
 In addition to HUD, HACLA and Unocal, the University of California provides 4-H County Cooperative Extension staffing and program research, while the L.A. County 4-H/Cooperative Extension provides program management, project management and training of volunteers.
 VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) provides the volunteers to work with the youth in the centers. The Los Angeles Unified School District will provide meeting rooms at the elementary school sites.
 The 4-H ASAP has been successfully implemented at four sites on a pilot basis -- Dana Stranu?eblo del Rio, Pico Gardens and Estrada Courts -- with funds provided by the City of Los Angeles, Unocal, the ARCO Foundation and the McKesson Foundation. These programs have successfully met all enrollment and service objectives.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: Barry Lane, 213-977-7601/


CO: Unocal Corp. ST: California IN: OIL SU:

LM-EH -- LA015 -- 0247 10/08/93 14:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993
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