LANCASTER – A children’s literacy festival, a playground safety improvement project, and a work readiness program are among the projects selected to go forward as part of Lancaster’s Fourth Annual UNITE (Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort) program.
UNITE projects are aimed at neighborhood beautification, enhancing public safety, and building bonds among neighbors.
“The combined talents and ideas of each of the citizens involved in these projects not only produce a sense of pride in one’s community, but also provide tangible benefits to the City as a whole,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release.
The city’s Neighborhood Vitalization Commission on Thursday announced the seven winning projects for its 2013 UNITE Program. The selected projects will be carried out on Saturday, September 21.
The projects are as follows:
- Children/Family Literacy Festival— The applicant will host a community celebration at Mariposa Elementary School that encourages people, especially children to love reading. Various activities will introduce different stories and children will write a unique story of their own.
- Family Unites Community Art Project— The Family Unites Community Art project is an interactive and mobile work of public art designed to initiate dialogue amongst families of different backgrounds. The project will create three 4’x4’x4’ wooden cubes that will be primed using magnetic paint and read “FAMILY” on either side when completed. People will be able to add photos to the artwork as it travels through the Mariposa and Desert View area.
- “Fitted” Health Fair for High School Students— Lancaster Youth Development Foundation will lead a one day health fair targeting students from Antelope Valley, Eastside, and SOAR High Schools. Students will learn about healthy eating, exercising, and life skill strategies.
- Lincoln’s Big LEAP!— Lincoln Elementary will be kickstarting Lincoln Elementary Association of Parents (LEAP) this year and will be receiving UNITE support. A variety of activities will be offered that would help raise money to start the process of creating a Parent Teacher Association.
- Desert View Playground Improvements— Community, volunteers, parents and school staff will facilitate a playground safety improvement project.
- UNITE Chess Program— A chess tutorial will be hosted at Mariposa Elementary and followed up with a mini-tournament for participants.
- Work Readiness Program— The Lancaster Worksource Center will provide residents in the Mariposa and Desert View Neighborhoods with job readiness activities in their local Wellness Homes including resume review, interviewing tips and job seeker resources.
Launched in 2010, the UNITE program is administered by the Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission and City staff volunteers through the City’s Safer Stronger Neighborhoods Committee. Each year, the City invites citizens and local community organizations to submit their project applications. Applications are then chosen through a selective screening process which includes an application review and applicant interview. Applications are evaluated based on six criteria: self-reliance, neighborhood involvement, sustainability, community benefit, partnership building and innovation.
The 2013 UNITE program targets both the Mariposa and Desert View neighborhoods. This portion of Lancaster encompasses the area bounded by Avenue H to Avenue I, and from 20th Street West to Sierra Highway. While all applications were accepted, priority was given to those projects that targeted these neighborhoods.
The City is still seeking sponsors for this year’s UNITE program. Those interested in contributing to the 2013 UNITE projects may email email@example.com, or call 661-723-6078. For more information regarding the UNITE program, please visit www.cityoflancasterca.org/unite.
Previous related stories: