Lancaster provides after-school opportunities for local AV youth
Partnerships with local organizations maximize impact of programs
Lancaster currently partners with local entities to provide a diverse array of activities for local youth, including Children’s Academic and Recreation Enrichment Success (CARES), After School Enrichment Centers and Neighborhood Impact Home programs.
“These programs reflect on our commitment as a city to our next generation of citizens,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “There is no doubt in my mind that the efforts of all those involved in each of our programs have already made a substantial contribution to the success and growth of young people in the Antelope Valley.”
The CARES program has been operating as a partnership between the Lancaster School District and the city for 12 years and features a successful combination of free tutoring programs, exposure to physical activities and the arts, educational assemblies, crafts, and a math club. During the time CARES has operated, the program has provided effective academic support to more than 12,000 Lancaster students.
The program has a tremendous track record. In fact, during the 2011–2012 school year, a large percentage of CARES program participants demonstrated academic improvement from the previous year.
In addition, a majority of participants have achieved a daily attendance rate of 95 percent or greater.
CARES sites include Desert View, Mariposa, Sierra, Sunnydale, Joshua, Linda Verde, El Dorado, and Jack Northrop elementary schools. The program is offered at no cost to participants through funding provided by an After School Education and Safety (ASES) grant secured by the Lancaster School District and the city.
In addition to CARES, the city’s Parks, Recreation and Arts Department offers After School Enrichment Centers at both West Wind and Valley View elementary schools to provide supplementary academic assistance and recreation. These Enrichment Centers are also very popular; both school sites currently have a wait-list of more than 30 students.
More recently, the city has partnered with local churches through the Neighborhood Impact Home program to provide after school activities for students. Upwards of 200 students attend the programs at eight locations. Currently under way are signups for a basketball league that has been organized among the homes, with games to be played at Antelope Valley High School.
Pastor Rob Dietzel of Grace Chapel Church oversees the Neighborhood Impact Ministry for four of the homes in Lancaster.
“These homes are a remarkable aid to the children of the neighborhoods in which they serve. They come to us and build relationships with each other. They see the value of these locations and begin to take pride in their neighborhood,” said Dietzel. “Basically, Jesus Christ said to love our neighbor as ourselves. That’s what we do here.”
“Through each of these programs, the youth of Lancaster are provided with opportunities to constructively use their time after school to grow academically, physically, and socially,” concluded Mayor R. Rex Parris.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Two Southland men pleaded guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge involving a scheme in which stolen identities were used to file phony tax returns, claiming thousands of dollars in refunds.
Michael Williams, 42, of Palmdale, and 34-year-old Mike Niko of Carson entered their pleas before U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer. They face up to 10 years each in prison at sentencing Sept. 9.
LANCASTER, Calif. — A registered sex offender accused of using a cellphone camera to capture video up hundreds of women’s skirts in Lancaster and elsewhere in Los Angeles County was in custody and facing prosecution, authorities said.
Students to senior citizens are eligible to be volunteer docents at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
Docent opportunities include staffing the visitor center and gift shop, walking the trails, leading tours, and other activities from March through May.
A docent is a volunteer that has attended training for their position. No previous experience or prior knowledge of the habitat or history is required.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Southland again will bake in dry heat today, creating what the National Weather Service (NWS) called an “elevated fire danger” falling short of red flag conditions.
“A strong upper-level high-pressure system in combination with weak onshore flow near the surface brought record-breaking triple-digit heat to portions of the valleys and foothills on Sunday,” noted an NWS advisory.
The city of Lancaster has invited all members of the public to attend a workshop on May 18, to discuss a zoning code update for the areas located to the east and to the south of the Metrolink Station. The changes to city zoning ordinances are aimed at expanding the Downtown Lancaster Transit Village District around the Metrolink Station near Lancaster Blvd., while creating a more business friendly climate in the area.