Written by Edythe Bradley
Youths in the Dougherty County area can look forward to a summer full of fun and activities by registering for Albany State University’s 2012 National Youth Sports Program (NYSP). Registration will be held Saturday, May 12, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the East Albany Pediatrics and Adolescent Center at 1712 East Broad Ave. in Albany. Free medical examinations, which are sponsored by Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc., will be given to students interested in participating in the NYSP. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to complete registration and receive free medical examinations. Vendors will be on site during the event to provide education and entertainment for adults and children.
Set to begin on Monday, June 4, at 8 a.m. in the HPER Gymnasium, the NYSP will provide a variety of structured sports activities and educational workshops for the economically disadvantaged youths, age 9-15, in Dougherty County. The daily operating hours are 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays through July 6. Participants of the program, in collaboration with the National Youth Sports Corporation (NYSC), will receive a variety of incentives throughout the program.
Although the medical examinations are free of charge, program officials say a registration fee of $100 per child will be charged for the program.
“Because of decreased funding this year and increased operating costs, we have to charge a small fee for the first time for our summer program,” said Robert Skinner, NYSP coordinator. “For more than 38 years, we have offered the program free of charge to thousands of students in the Dougherty County area, but we have no choice but to charge to help offset costs of providing this outstanding service to the children of this community. Thanks to the staff at Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc and the East Albany Pediatrics and Adolescent Center, medical examinations remain free of charge.”
Because space for the program is limited, Skinner encourages parents to preregister or come early for registration and free medical examinations on May 12. Money orders or cashier’s checks should be made payable to Albany State University.
“We have a limited number of slots for the NYSP this year. We will do all we can to accommodate all children who are interested in the program because we know how much they enjoy the activities,” Skinner said. “The NYSP gives children something positive to do during the summer.”
Albany State is participating in the Summer Food Service Program and meals will be provided to all children eligible for the program. To be eligible to receive meals, children must meet the income guidelines for reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Children who are part of households that receive food stamps or benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are automatically eligible to receive meals.
For more information about the NYSP, contact Robert Skinner, project administrator, at 229-430-3817 or 229-430-4762 on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m