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The Hawthorne Community Center
Rafael Ovalles (right rear), and Dalia Gonzalez play together at Hawthorne Community Center on Indianapolis' Near Westside. The center will receive $7,500 for Converse Gold Iridescent
(Photo: Michelle Pemberton/The Star)
Phil Votaw, executive director at the Westside Community Development Corp., said the center is critical for area families. Sometimes the simplest programs, providing food for families stuck with a sudden bill, or Converse Purple High Tops
The center's youth services program which provides child care, preschool and youth development services is one of the applicants this year for Season for Sharing, The Indianapolis Star's annual fundraising drive. A total of $240,000 was raised in 2012 for 33 local agencies focused on improving the lives of children. The 2013 campaign is still in progress.
its early childhood program, which funds day care and preschool activities, from Season For Sharing and The Indianapolis Star.
Call Star reporter Chris Sikich at (317) 444 6036.
"We want to ensure they possess the skills they need to enroll in kindergarten," Arnold said.
Mission: The center has a $1.1 million budget and serves about 2,500 people annually. The center offers a variety of programs for children, adults and senior citizens. Adult oriented programs also include re entry rehabilitation for those convicted of a crime and senior citizen life enrichment.
"We invest our resources on people," Arnold said, "on helping people become more financially stable."
Season of Sharing
This kids already have received a special treat this year. The NBA awarded the Indiana Pacers $5,000 to deck out a room at the center and to purchase a video game system.
a room that's a stark contrast to the other, more modest areas at the center.
The Hawthorne Community Center allocates about $200,000 annually out of a $1.1 million budget to the youth service programs, said Executive Director Diane Arnold. Founded in 1923, the center is a place where many of the staff members once were enrolled in child care when they were kids.
Service area: Bordered by White River Parkway, Raceway Road, 38th Street Converse White Women and Thompson Road.
"She loves it here," Monique Williams said. "She gets mad when she has to go home."
Hawthorne Community Center preps kids for school
"A lot of folks here are in a marginal situation, where they are living paycheck to paycheck," he said, "and if they miss one, or a car breaks down, or someone gets sick, some assistance is needed."
Monique Williams said she values the Pacers' room, along with the center's tutoring, the programs and the friendly staff. She knows her daughter loves playing at Hawthorne the smile makes that easy to see.
A United Way agency, the center also offers a variety of development resources for adults and senior citizens, including a food pantry, financial assistance with utility bills, holiday bills and public benefits, plus work force development and financial planning.
simply feeding the kids in the child care program, can go the furthest.
Arnold, who also serves as the School Board president for Indianapolis Public Schools, said the income based youth tutoring programs are critical to low income children in the area. Children who enroll in the center's programming for one year, she said, often raise their prekindergarten test scores from failing grades to As and Bs.
All Star Paul George led a ribbon cutting Oct. 30 in the newly painted Pacers' blue room . Marionna Williams and the other kids are all smiles in the Pacers room White Converse High Tops Size 4.5
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