By Linda Looney-Bond
The Riverdale Police Department is accepting applications for this summer's Citizens of Riverdale Youth (CORY) program.
The program, which will take place July 1-30, is free of charge, and open to children who live in Riverdale and attend middle school in the city, according to Riverdale Police Chief Samuel Patterson.
"We realized when we talked to our middle schoolers that there were not structured school activities [for them]," said Patterson. "Typically, they're too young to get a regular job. We thought it was a prime opportunity to engage some of our young people with structured activity during the summer."
Patterson said this is the third year the police department has operated the summer program.
CORY is a collaborative effort among youth, parents, law enforcement, fire services and other community members, according to Riverdale Police Sgt. Nicole Rabel.
Participants learn life skills in classes on topics such as dating, drug and gang awareness, conflict resolution, and finances, according to Rabel.
"We have guest instructors from a variety of agencies - the district attorney's office, solicitor's office, people that have expertise from the gang task force," said Patterson. "We're constantly looking for experts that can assist us, and assist the young people," he said.
The CORY program also includes activities outside the classroom.
"We take them on field trips to fun activities like Six Flags and water parks, but also educational locations like correctional facilities," said Patterson.
Program sessions will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., according to Rabel.
"There are a number of slots that have already been filled, but we have not closed out the applications," said Patterson.
"We typically have less than 20 [participants]. Last year we had about 15. We're going to try to accommodate every middle schooler that applies, probably anywhere from 15 to 25 kids," he said. "If we had more applications than 20, we would make every effort to accommodate them all."
Rabel said the deadline to enroll is June 24.
For more information, contact Rabel at (770) 909-5416 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.