FLINT (WJRT) -
(06/20/14) - A new partnership with the Crim Fitness Foundation is expanding a very successful program for Flint youth.
It's made possible by a $171,000 grant awarded to the Flint Police Activities League by the Ruth Mott Foundation.
"Less than a week ago I was approached and given some very good news," said Flint Police Chief James Tolbert.
The major investment by the Ruth Mott Foundation is validation for some.
"To give us this support, it's huge. It's showing that we're making a difference," said Officer Jesse Carpenter, FPAL executive director.
Officer Jesse Carpenter directs the Flint Police Activities League. Thursday, he stood shoulder to shoulder with city leaders.
"We struggled for a while and we've proven that we can sustain a program," Carpenter said.
Now, that program can expand, with new sports leagues, like Lacrosse, and fund upgrades to its park and fields - reaching more Flint kids than ever before.
"We want people to have access to places to be active and then also learn healthy behavior," said Lauren Holaly, active living director, Crim Fitness Foundation.
It's a common goal that city leaders believe in too.
"This is an incredible investment in our community and our youth," said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.
The press conference inside the Haskell Community Center was peppered with the sounds of activity - basketball in a gym next door, pool, air hockey and dancing.
Kids are staying out of trouble and staying busy with the Police Activity League.
Carpenter is passionate about this program and developing well rounded student-athletes, especially when it keeps kids off the streets. The kids are excited to try new things.
"They are bugging me to death about playing lacrosse, so to introduce that to the kids in this area, it's huge because it's new for me as well, so we'll learn it together, we'll get it together, and we'll do well in it together, as a community should," Carpenter said.
Registration starts Monday for some of the leagues, and you can do that online, or at the Center in Flint.
For more information on the program, and leagues offered, click HERE.