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National Youth Organization Again Highlights SU, Local Community

1/25/2008 2:53:00 PM

SALISBURY, MD---For the third year in a row Salisbury University and other regional organizations have helped make Wicomico County and the City of Salisbury one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, according to America’s Promise Alliance.  The local community is the only subdivision in Maryland to be honored.

The nation’s largest alliance dedicated to children and youth, America’s Promise (in partnership with Capital One) based the designation on the area’s programs, agencies and individuals committed to bettering children’s lives.  The annual competition recognizes outstanding communities across Americalarge and small, rural and urbanthat are the best places for young people to live and grow up.

More than 300 communities in all 50 states applied for the honor this year.  Wicomico County and the City of Salisbury were selected in large part because of their commitment to youth incentives, programs and actions that ensure children and families have access to positive community resources.

Additionally, the city has its own program, Salisbury’s Promise, which together with the AmeriCorps program at SU provides youth with opportunities to serve their community.  Salisbury’s Promise sponsored CANstruction, where schools and their faith-based partners collected food for charities and created an architectural structure.  Several elementary and middle schools use Character Counts, where students work with Habitat for Humanity and support March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society by participating in walk-a-thons, among other charitable activities.  The city also actively works with SU to provide internships for local students.

The competition required submitting detailed information to America’s Promise on existing community programs and initiatives that help deliver the Five Promises, which are resources identified as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children.  These include caring adults, safe places, healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others.  Applicants were also asked to describe how different sectors of their community deliver the Five Promises, and how specific programs ensure that young people graduate from high school prepared for college and the workforce.

Each community, including Wicomico County and Salisbury, will be eligible to apply for some $300,000 in grants from America’s Promise.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the America’s Promise Web site at www.americaspromise.org.