New teen center opens near Altgeld Gardens

SHARE New teen center opens near Altgeld Gardens
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Carver Park |(City of Chicago)

Teen girls will get a place to exercise, learn about nutrition and get career advice at a center being unveiled Saturday as part of a revitalization plan of Altgeld Gardens on the Far South Side.

The Carver Park Teen Center at 939 E. 132nd Street was built with $125,000 from the Chicago Park District and a $150,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Company through the National Recreation and Park Association.

On Saturday, Mayor Emanuel will join other public officials for the center’s grand opening.

The park district has hired a program coordinator for the center and staff will routinely host teen focus groups to make sure the programming stays fresh and reflects the needs of the community, according to park district spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner.

Teens will be able to take dance classes, do yoga or pilates, take a cooking class and attends workshops on health. The center will also offer career planning workshops, and nutrition classes, according to the park district.

“The Carver Park Teen Center is an important development that is part of an overall revitalization for this community,” said Mayor Emanuel in a statement. “The improvements in Carver Park will give local teens – especially teen girls – the opportunity to access critical programming that will inspire lifelong healthy habits, self-confidence and empowerment.”

Although programming will be focused for teen girls, teen boys will also be able to take part in some of the center’s program.

The City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority are currently working to revitalize communities on the Southeast Side, with the CHA currently rehabilitating more than 200 housing units and opening a new social service office.

The CHA in April was awarded $3 million by the federal government to use to train residents for the workforce in Altgeld Gardens, where more than 50 percent of residents are unemployed.

Carver Park is across from the CHA’s Altgeld Gardens housing development and the Chicago Board of Education’s George Washington Carver School.

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