The Great Falls Youth Corps received a $15,000 grant from Illinois-based insurance company State Farm on Tuesday morning.
Part of the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC)’s effort to provide Paterson’s young people educational activities, the youth corps runs an eight-week summer program for high school students that centers around the Great Falls National Park allowing them to learn about the city’s ecological, industrial, and social history.
Students organize community clean ups, offer guided tours, undertake beautification projects in the city while learning about career opportunities at the National Park Service (NPS).
“This $15,000 grant supports programs designed to engage Paterson high school students in experiential learning opportunities tied to the Great Falls’ ecological, social and industrial history,” State Farm community specialist Jennifer Young said.
Young presented the check to NJCDC during the youth corps sixth annual clean up and science fair at the Great Falls today. “I am particularly delighted to be here today to express my gratitude on behalf of NJCDC and the Great Falls Youth Corps,” said Bob Guarasci, head of NJCDC. “State Farm has supported the Great Falls Youth Corps in a meaningful way, not only with encouragement, but with financial support. It really is true – like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
Members of the youth corps Tuesday cleaned up the river above the Great Falls to clear out the garbage after the water fall was turned off. Afterwards the young people were provided hands-on environmentally themed experiments and activities courtesy of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, Passaic River Institute, Passaic Valley Sewage Commission, and the National Park Service.
Activities included fun with chemistry and a Lenni-Lenape style soccer game. The clean up also marked the 99th anniversary of the National Park Service.
“Helping to preserve nature’s beauty is everyone’s responsibility and State Farm is proud to support the efforts of Paterson’s youth,” Young said.