A summer youth employment project, involving Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students, has earned an award. The Howe Park renovation project has been chosen as co-winner of the Innovative Program Award by the California Special District Association (CSDA).
More than 30 students from SCOE's LINKS Academy, a community school program, designed and built a small dog park, refurbished park benches, and walking bridges, and improved landscaping as part of an employment training project. Federal stimulus money funded the summer work project, which was dedicated on August 12, 2010.
"This remarkable service/learning project helped our students earn more than just a summer paycheck," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "This project provided them with vital job training skills and the confidence boost that goes with it."
"This award is so well deserved. Our students poured themselves into this project, investing hundreds of hours to fix up the park for the public to enjoy," said Marty Cavanaugh, Deputy Superintendent.
Partners involved in the project include: SCOE, Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Parks District, and Sacramento Employment and Training Agency. The parks district provided the work projects and the supplies while SCOE provided work supervisors and students to carry out the labor.
"Our District's summer partnership with the Sacramento County of Education has been a big success," said Michael Seaman, Chairman, Board of Directors of Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District. "Thanks to these hard-working young people, the community got a great new dog park and other improvements to Howe Park that would not have been possible otherwise."
"Investing in our youth and the welfare of our community, is investing in our future," said Roy Imai, General Manager, Fulton-El Camino Recreation and Park District, upon learning of the award.