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Program seeks to prevent problems

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Noblesville leaders have adopted a successful program that focuses on preventative services for the city’s youth rather than using disciplinary measures and adjudication.

Art: Jerry Barr, left, receives a $10,000 check from Mayor John Ditslear to support the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program during the Noblesville School Board meeting on Aug. 20. NYAP was one of the beneficiaries from this year’s Mayor’s Ball. The others include the Noblesville Firefighters Christmas Food & Toy Drive; Promising Futures of Central Indiana; The Cherish Center; and Helping Hands of Noblesville. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Art: Jerry Barr, left, receives a $10,000 check from Mayor John Ditslear to support the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program during the Noblesville School Board meeting on Aug. 20. NYAP was one of the beneficiaries from this year’s Mayor’s Ball. The others include the Noblesville Firefighters Christmas Food & Toy Drive; Promising Futures of Central Indiana; The Cherish Center; and Helping Hands of Noblesville. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

On Aug, 20, Mayor John Ditslear, Hamilton County Superior Court 1 Judge Steven Nation, Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Paul Felix and Noblesville Schools Supt. Libbie Conner announced the creation of the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program. The NYAP is modeled after the Westfield Youth Assistance Program.

“This program has helped many youth and families in Westfield, and I am excited about the positive impact it is going to have on the lives of kids in Noblesville,” Ditslear said. “It helps them appreciate what they can become.”

The goal of NYAP is to help children and families identify, coordinate and take advantage of services or programs in Hamilton County or the surrounding areas. The program is voluntary and children are referred to the program by police, school counselors or other agencies.

“We are pleased to work with others in our community to help provide critical services to children and teens through the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program. We know that supporting our families now will pay dividends in the future,” Conner said.

The program will assist referred children ages 3 to 17 years old and their families. The youth will be evaluated and placed in programs based on specific needs. Some examples are mentoring, tutoring, camp and recreational opportunities, counseling and anger management classes.

“We’re seeing success in the schools,” Felix said. “Attendance is better and they are getting better grades. Students are going from F’s to B’s… Their life turns a whole other way.”

Early Intervention Advocate Joy Petty said NYAP is asking for the public to support the program by volunteering in various capacities including tutoring or mentoring students, helping to coordinate and work at events and fundraisers and be behind-the-scenes volunteers. For more information about the program and volunteer opportunities, contact Petty at 773-3171, extension 10431 or info@youthassistance.org.


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