The second Youth and Candidate Night was a huge success! Mayoral, City Council, and School Committee candidates were invited again to listen to our city’s youth describe their experiences in Fall River. A panel of 7 local teens described their personal obstacles, what helped them overcome their struggles, and what they feel youth in our city need. It was an amazing event for Fall River!
The Fall River Police Department, Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Task Force, and other local organizations sponsored the second annual Police and Public Palooza on Tuesday August 1 on the occasion of National Night Out. The event, held at Britland Park, adjacent to the Fall River Police Station, attracted a large group of local families who turned out to say Thank You to the Police and to have a good time.
Activities included a basketball tournament, games, face painting, balloon animals, a magic show, and crafts for younger children, as well as dancing and other fun activities. A large contingent of police officers were on hand to demonstrate police vehicles and equipment, including the K-9 unit and a number of motorcycles and three wheel vehicles that were popular with the kids.
Mayor Jasiel Correia, Acting Chief Al Dupere, District Attorney Tom Quinn and other state and local officials were on hand to express their appreciation for the efforts of the local police department and to thank the event organizers, Lt. Paul Bernier of the FRPD and Christian McCloskey, Director of Youth Services.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
The tenth annual Youth of the Year Awards were presented to six finalists and the winner at Mesa 21 on May 30, 2017. The award is presented every year by Partners and the Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Task Force to recognize youth who have demonstrated positive achievements and and have given back to the community. Judges and nominators were on hand as co-chairs Fall River Youth Services Coordinator Christian McCloskey and Greater Fall River Re-Creation Program Coordinator Annemarie Holly who read statements from each of the finalists on the theme of “Make It in Fall River”, the City’s new slogan. Durfee student, Eleane Lema, was selected as this year’s Youth of the Year, and her name will be added to the plaque that resides at Government Center for all to see. The remaining finalists for the award were Yasnerris Torres, Jessica Miranda, John Paul McDonald, Christina Devoe-Hood, and Isabella Connors.
Sponsored by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, the Fall River Shannon Community Safety Initiative, Saint Anne’s Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, United Neighbors and Partners, this year’s Peace by Piece event took place on May 26, 2017 at the Boys and Girls Club. The four-hour session offered an opportunity for students from B.M.C. Durfee and Diman Regional High School as well as participants in YouthBuild, to engage in a series of improvisation exercises led by members of The Bit Players of Newport, RI, that explored and expanded their interpersonal communication skills. At the end of the morning, groups were then invited to create a two-minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) with a message about an important issue that young people face. The day got participants engaged in getting to know one another in ways they never had before and learning about both verbal and non-verbal communication.
The annual Peace Through Partnerships bat giveaway took place at the Fall River Boys & Girls Club on May 23, 2017. Members of the Club signed personalized baseball bats and presented them to police officers as a token of appreciation for their service. The event was one of several on-going initiatives (police-youth dialogues, Police-Public Palooza) that seek to improve the community by fostering positive relationships and collaborations between the police department and the residents of Fall River.
The Fall River Youth Violence Prevention initiative is funded in part by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. It is supported by Mayor Jasiel Correia, Senator Michael Rodrigues, Representative Carole Fiola, Representative Alan Silvia, and Representative Paul Schmid.