NEW ORLEANS — Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu along with City officials, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and NORDC community partners and sponsors celebrated the start of NORDC’s 2016 summer programming at the newly renovated St. Bernard Recreation Center. The City opened eleven outdoors pools last week in addition to the three year round indoor pools operated by NORDC. As always, NORDC will facilitate a summer aquatics program that includes water safety and instruction and aqua fitness. NORDC will also provide free meals to youth this summer.
“Today is a great day for our city as we celebrate the start of NORDC’s 2016 summer programming,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Investing in activities for our youth is the absolute best way to change the culture of violence in our city and this summer we’re committed to providing our young people a robust package of opportunities. With the help of our NORDC community partners, thousands of young people will be participating in summer camps and programs across New Orleans. This year, with an extended summer season, we will serve 5,000 youth and teens at 52 various camps throughout the city. We have tripled our funding dedicated for recreation and will continue to invest in our youth and families while making NORDC the best recreation department in the country.”
NORDC’s SPLASH! Swimming and Safety Program, provides summer camp youth with a 10-week course to help build confidence and water safety awareness. Weekly topics include safely entering a pool, moving in the water and floating techniques.
In December 2010, Mayor Landrieu initiated a partnership with the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter to fund a year-round swimming lesson and lifeguard training program, under the direction of NORDC. There were eight pools in operation in summer 2010. This year, the City will operate 14 pools and the summer pool schedule will be extended an extra two weeks.
Click here for a list of NORDC pools, aquatics programming and hours of operation.
Byron C. Williams, NORDC Chair, said, “On behalf of the NORD Commission, I am excited to kick off NORDC’s 2016 summer programming. The commission works year-round to engage with the public to ensure that all of the community’s needs are met. We are proud to offer safe, enjoyable opportunities for youth in this city this summer. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the community partners and sponsors who help us make this work possible.”
Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC, said, “This summer we’re pleased to give our residents additional time to enjoy the many classes, pools and recreational opportunities available throughout the city. This would not be possible without the commitment of this administration and our community partners and sponsors. As always, NORDC will strive to offer our youth diverse opportunities to promote growth in a positive learning environment.”
NORDC programming is funded in part by community partners, including Boh Brothers and Hertz Investment Group. Both partners fund year round aquatics programming at NORDC. The group donation will ensure that aquatics classes are available for all ages at every NORDC pool and taught by certified instructors. It also supports training of lifeguards and upkeep of pool equipment. Additionally, Chevron provides generous sponsorship and support of many key NORDC programs throughout the year including football, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, Fit NOLA parks, NORDC Teen Council and the Chevron Future leaders program. Again this summer, Chevron and Entergy will provide critical support for NORDC’s Teen Career Camps.
Louis Lauricella, NORD Foundation Chairman, said, “I am proud that NORDC is offering a wide range of summer programming for the youth of New Orleans. None of this would be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Learning to swim is a necessity in New Orleans and, for the last four years, that program has been made possible by contributions from the Boh Brothers Centennial Fund. This year, I am pleased to welcome the Hertz Investment Group as a new major funder for aquatics. Chevron and Entergy have also been major sponsors for our Teen Career Camps each year. Special thanks to Capital One for their investments in the renovations of the St. Bernard Recreation Center, which include a new glass storefront, welcome desk, fitness room equipment and NORDC’s first Teen Center.”
District A Councilmember Susan G. Guidry said, “Learning how to swim should be a priority for every family. Statistics show that the U.S. has close to 3500 accidental drownings every year. That's almost ten per day! In addition to saving lives, swimming promotes better academic performance, health and self-confidence, and its fun for all ages. The City Council continues to increase funding to NORDC for this essential service.”
District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, “NORDC programs, such as the swimming program at the St. Bernard Recreation Center, are an important part of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for our youth, while also giving them options for staying engaged and active over the Summer.”
District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “With kids out of school it is important that we continue to provide them positive experiences and outlets throughout the summer. Whether it is athletics, swimming, arts or summer STEM learning, I am happy that NORDC is there for our children.”
Renovated St. Bernard Recreation Center
This year, City officials kicked off summer programming at the newly renovated St. Bernard Recreation Center located at 1500 Lafreniere St. The $1.1 million project includes a complete redesign to accommodate additional space for arts and crafts, a fitness center and a new teen center. Renovations include new restrooms, locker rooms, elevator, lobby area and a refurbished gymnasium floor.
Cedric Grant, Executive Director of Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, said, “NORDC’s Splash program provides wonderful learning opportunities to the community. We are excited that the newly renovated St. Bernard Recreation Center has reopened just in time for the summer to give our youth additional positive outlets to participate in new art forms and recreational classes.”
Funding for the St. Bernard Center renovations came from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), bonds and generous contributions NORD Foundation donors like Capital One.
In 2010, Share Our Strength joined with Mayor Landrieu to launch the New Orleans “No Kid Hungry” campaign, a public-private partnership working to end childhood hunger in New Orleans. The campaign is working toward that goal by connecting kids to federal nutrition programs including free school breakfast, free after-school meals and free meals during the summer.
This summer, the City and its partners are aggressively working to coordinate free summer meals for all NORDC summer camps by linking them to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. These sponsors prepare meals for over 130 locations. Including NORDC summer camps and recreation centers, Housing Authority of New Orleans Sites, many local churches and community based organizations. Any child under the age of 18 may participate.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and additional sponsors will ensure all meals are free to summer camp participants. Last summer, the City served over 750,000 meals throughout the summer to kids across the city thanks to our many partners providing meals including Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteers of America, Healthy School Food Collaborative, Orleans Parish School Board, Sodexo, Revolution Foods and Chartwells.
In addition, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is proud to continue fighting hunger in the communities Sodexo serves by adding the City of New Orleans to its Feeding Our Future program. Sodexo’s dining services team at Tulane University will provide an additional 12,000 meals to support children under age 18 in the City of New Orleans this summer at five City Community Centers—Behrman Park, Gernon Brown Recreation Center, Joe W. Brown Park, Sanchez Multi-Purpose Center and St. Bernard Recreation Center. The program plans to distribute 500,000 healthy meals nationwide this year to those in need.
Patrick Connolly, Global CEO, Universities for Sodexo, said, “Feeding America reports that 84 percent of their client households with children report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if they knew it wasn't the healthiest option, in an effort to provide enough food for their family. Our teams are committed to improving the communities where they live, work, and serve and Feeding Our Future gives them a unique opportunity to give back by helping to fill that summer meal gap with a healthy and nutritious meal.”
Additional Summer Youth Programming
Additional summer youth program offerings include the NOLA Youth Works Summer Employment Program, a multifaceted program that provides rewarding summer experiences to young people ages 13 to 21. NOLA Youth Works partners with private and non-profit companies and organizations to provide quality summer experiences at safe, structured and properly supervised environments. Summer Youth Employment is a critical component of creating a viable workforce and ensuring economic prosperity for all residents.
Program components include the NORDC Teen Career Camp (ages 13-15), Work and Learn (age 15), the Signature Program (ages 15-18), Traditional Program (ages 16-21), Junior Camp Counselors (ages 17-21) and Intern NOLA (ages 18-21). For more information on summer programming please visit www.nordc.org.
# # #