Riley awards grant for juvenile program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mending the lines of communication between parent and child is the aim of Shelby County&8217;s RECONNECT project and with a grant from Gov. Bob Riley&8217;s office Family Connection Inc. will be able to continue its work.

&8220;It&8217;s a win, win for everyone,&8221; Susan Johnston, director of Family Connection Inc., said. &8220;Too often kids are playing games and parents are watching T.V. but there is little positive activity going on within families. This program allows them to work better as a unit.&8221;

The $31,334 grant will continue to allow first-time nonviolent juvenile offenders the opportunity to participate in the program.

The goal of RECONNECT is for youth to grasp the consequences of their actions and make better choices in the future.

Parents also take part in the project by attending Parenting Wisely classes. The classes were created to help parents learn how to respond to their child&8217;s negative behavior in an effective manner. Once both parent and child have completed their portions of the program, they meet together to discuss how they can build better relationships.

The families also complete a two-hour community service project that is meant to bring them closer to one another and allow them to give back to the community.

Funds for the grant were made available by the U.S. Department of Justice and will be administered by the Alabama Department for Economic and Community Affairs.