Saturday, March 05, 2005 Bush to visit family support center in Pittsburgh Bush to visit family support center in Pittsburgh President Bush and Laura Bush will visit a family support center on Monday as the first lady promotes a White House plan to steer at-risk youth away from gangs, the leader of the center said.

The Bushes will tour preschool classrooms and meet with teen program participants at the Providence Family Support Center on Pittsburgh's North Side, said Sister Maria Fest, a member of the Sisters of Divine Providence. She is also the executive director of Providence Connections Inc., which operates the center.

The center, which started in 1995, provides early childhood development, day care, after-school programs and parenting classes.

It also has a connection to the White House.

H. James Towey, the head of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, spoke at the October 2002 dedication of the center's new building. Fest also sat with Laura Bush during the president's 2003 State of the Union address.

Before she heard the news of the Bushes' visit, the office of faith-based initiatives called and asked Fest about her programs catering to teenagers, she said.

The president has budgeted $150 million over three years in Justice Department funding for anti-gang efforts.

Tonight, our family is hosting two teens from Ithica, New York. Both boys are in high school, one a junior and the other a freshmen. They are here with a group from their music school. They teemed with young musicans from the Pittsburgh Music Academy in Carnegie. Tonight we were treated to a fantastic string concert at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie. They were amazing, and joined with some of the Pittsburgh kids.

My boys, ages 10 and 7, are just thrilled to have the house guests.

This is one way to have an anti-gang efforts, music. Great music.

The touring musicans from Ithica play again on Sunday at the 11 am service at First Unitarian Church in Shadyside (corner of Moorwood and Elseworth). A one hour concert is set for 1 pm. The Suzuiki schools are doing some expert teacher classes. The visiting music teachers give a master's class where they teach the Pittsburgh kids and the Pittsburgh teachers watch and witness.

Another great way to keep teenagers out of gangs is to put them into a gang we want them in -- like a swim team. I think 5:45 AM swim practices three times a week makes a great gang intervention program.

No comments: