With funds from the American Rescue Plan, $ 1.3 million has been approved for youth sports, job and mentoring programs.
TOLEDO, Ohio – More than $ 1.3 million is being donated to youth recovery, job and mentoring programs in Toledo under funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Dr. Tracee Perryman has dedicated her life to educating youth in underserved communities by teaching the Elevate program at the Center of Hope Family Services.
Elevate is an after-school program that serves about 150 students at a time, but Perryman hopes that number will grow.
“What I find is that the gap is not in their ability, but in access to opportunity,” said Perryman.
She says it’s a huge win to know the city has approved $ 1.3 million for programs like hers.
She doesn’t know how much money the organization will get, but she is confident that they will get results.
“We’ve quadrupled the reading of grade-level children in our highest-risk schools and reduced school enrollment rates from 32% to 6%,” said Perryman.
Michael Carter is a parent on Elevate and he says it is important for children to be invested in by the community.
“My six-year-old may not know where this is coming from, but he will find that someone did something to make sure they had access, freedom and opportunity,” Carter said.
Chet Trail is a retired professional athlete who was named the city’s baseball ambassador.
He is determined to bring the sport back to the children of Toledo. The first games in three decades took place last weekend.
“I would love to be there or at home and there is a Toledo baseball team here that is in the Little League World Series,” said Trail.
Trail says he hopes the money can be used on parks and youth recreation to improve not only city parks, but more city sports facilities to get kids off the streets.
“We’re going to teach life skills to teens,” said Trail.
For Perryman and Trail, that money means a big thing: opportunity for children.