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EAST LOS ANGELES : Grants Enable Club to Aid Casa Maravilla

October 30, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The Eastside Boys and Girls Club will soon organize games and other after-school activities for young people at the Casa Maravilla Housing Project.

The Boys and Girls Club will use a $50,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente and $25,000 from the Gilder Foundation for the program aimed at the housing development's approximately 1,500 youths between age 7 and 17, said Gil Silva, executive director and program director.

The program, which is expected to begin the second week of December, will be designed for latchkey children.

"The goal is to provide an alternative to the kids other than the streets," Silva said. "We don't want any negative influences. We want to give them positive influences. If kids are given a choice, they're going to make the right choice."

The club, at 324 N. McDonnell Ave., is just over two blocks from the Cesar E. Chavez Avenue housing project, but many of the youth do not belong to the Boys and Girls Club because gang territories restrict them from crossing into certain areas. Silva said he hopes the center courtyard at the 504-unit housing development will be neutral territory so the children can participate.

The club will provide about four adults to set up and supervise games and arts and crafts.

The Eastside Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles was started 43 years ago and has 1,800 members.

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