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South Jersey Community:
Southwest Council Hits Homerun for Local Youth

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

By Cheryl Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

We wake up everyday to get started with a familiar routine, filled with an agenda that's been laid out for the day. Adults are getting ready for work and/or getting kids ready for school. That in itself is a job which families endure every weekday to start their morning. Additionally, enforcing daily chores and family values can become overwhelming. However, the staff at Southwest Council can provide a helping hand to local families in need.

This year, the staff at Southwest Council in Salem County was contacted by South Jersey Sports Online to donate a brand new mountain bike to a youth from their Strengthening Families Program. Danielle Sewell was gracious enough to help SJSports Online find Penny Casraiss whose modest daughter was happy to receive her gift. When Savannah was asked about her new bike, she replied, "I used to have a bike but it was old and had wholes in the tires." Savannah was glad to receive her bike and so was Danielle. "I'm glad and happy to be able to help this family because every bit helps," said Ms. Sewell.

Southwest Council is a county resource with locations in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. Their Strengthening Families Program has a free program that started in April and ends June 27th at their Salem location. This fun program is one of many which takes place on Thursdays from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Each two-hour session consists of dinner, family enrichment and separate, but simultaneous parent/caregiver and child sessions followed by a family session. The youth learn to handle frustration, resist peer pressure, appreciate parents/caregivers and get along with others. Parents/caregivers discuss what youths this day and age are like, making rules and consequences, how to solve problems with youths and ways to show love and support.

The center combines having fun with strengthening family communication. The youth sessions include game-like activities for learning and skill building. The family sessions include parent-youth discussions, games, projects and skill-building practices.

For more information or to enroll in the Strengthening Families Program, please stop by or call the Southwest Council at 856-935-0182 or 1-800-856-9609 (ext.14). The Salem, New Jersey office is located at 172 E. Broadway. Danielle Sewell and the rest of the staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Photos by Art Redd

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.