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Orange Couty Focus

YOUTH : LA HABRA : Program to Offer Alternative to Gangs

June 01, 1993|MIMI KO

La Habra City School District students are being invited to play volleyball, soccer, most other sports and indoor games this summer at Washington Middle School and Walnut and Las Lomas elementary schools.

From July 26 to Aug. 27, the schools will also offer free lunches to anyone under 19.

In addition, six eighth-grade students will be hired to work as assistant coaches and helpers for the recreation organizers at each site. Applications are available at the school district office on Walnut Street.

The program is being funded by a gang violence suppression grant from the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning. It revives a similar program run by the city in the 1970s which was shut down due to budget cuts.

About 200 children at each school are expected to participate in the 9 a.m. to noon program geared to keep them busy and out of trouble.

"What we hope to do is just run their little legs off, feed them and make them so tired that they'll just want to go home and take a nap," said Joan Mallard, the district's gang and drug prevention education coordinator. "We're hoping that this creates an alternative to the streets for these kids."

Registration for the free program will take place at each the three schools on July 26.

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