July 9, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The last day of June was the first day of fun for many of New Haven's youth. The National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) at Yale University opened for its 13th consecutive year and runs for the next five weeks. This free program incorporates sports instruction with educational classes and is available to all children ages 9-16 in the greater New Haven area.
With over 300 campers split between 10 camper groups, all of the historic Payne Whitney Gymnasium facilities are utilized to keep the city's youth active and learning valuable skills while on summer break. The daily routine includes playing a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, crew, dance, football, softball and swimming. NYSP also integrates drug & alcohol awareness, math & science and health & nutrition into the camp curriculum.
The NYSP General Store is another popular activity where campers can earn `NYSP Bucks' through acts of kindness, good sportsmanship, or excellence in a sport or education class. Campers can then purchase items in the store or save their bucks in the bank to use at the end of camp. The store consists of Yale Athletics merchandise, school supplies and other donated items. These activities along with a free USDA approved breakfast and lunch at the Hall of Graduate Studies, just steps from Payne Whitney Gym, complete a well rounded day of camp.
This opportunity is provided by the Yale Athletics Department, in cooperation with the Yale Office of New Haven & State Affairs, the City of New Haven Department of Youth, and the Yale Community Rowing Program. Youth @ Work, an organization that helps impart New Haven's youth with career development opportunities, also provides many of the counselors, many of whom were campers in the past and are now role models for the next generation of campers. All of these supporters, with the help of many other individuals and organizations, direct this program to the height of its capability, particularly at a time when many other cities and universities throughout the country have cut similar programs due to budget restrictions.
Yale believes strongly in continuing this tradition that has been nationwide for close to 40 years. NYSP has created positive opportunities for youth in at-risk environments since 1969 and has served youth between the ages of 9 and 16 through an organized program of sport skills and life instruction. NYSP has been conducted on the campuses of over 200 colleges and universities and served over 78,000 young people. NYSP at Yale University won the Silvio O. Conte Award in 2001 as the top program in the entire country, and also won the Meritorious Award for one of the top programs in the country in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
In addition to the daily activities of the camp, special weekly field trips to the Gilder Boathouse and the Yale Bowl have proven to be great ways to bring the Yale and New Haven communities closer together. Based upon the record turnout of campers and the services available to the participants, it is clear that NYSP is committed to utilizing all available University and city resources to create an environment that is caring, supportive, safe and most of all, fun.
For more information on the program, go to www.yalebulldogs.com and click on community and then NYSP. The Activity Director is Faeisha Morrison who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-982-6547. The Project Administrator is Jordan Skolnick who can be reached at Jordan.email@example.com or 203-436-3937.