Sep 8, 2011
The Young Leadership Council (YLC) honored RECreate, a youth recreation program, with a special “Project of 25 Years Award” at its 25th Anniversary Role Model Gala August 13, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel because of the project’s long-term success in the community. Current project leaders, Kelley Bagayoko and Wesley Palmisano, accepted the award.
RECreate offers high quality, accessible and educational recreation activities to youth ages seven to 14 in the Central City area. The program initially kicked off in 1991, but was discontinued after Hurricane Katrina. Because of the program’s popularity and success, the YLC brought it back this year in honor of the anniversary. RECreate’s latest 10-week session will begin September 10 at 9:30 a.m. at the Harmony Oaks Community Center and A.L. Davis Park.
“We chose RECreate as the Project of 25 Years because of the significant effects the project has had on countless number of children, on YLC member-volunteers and on the Central City community over the years,” said Joseph I. Giarrusso III, president of the YLC. “It was one of the YLC’s longest running projects before the storm and represents another strong example of something positive that has returned to the city post-Katrina.”
RECreate offers a basketball component consisting of coached practices, drills, games and a tournament. A Cultural Awareness Class teaches the history of the Central City Area, Mardi Gras Indian tradition, African American history, African dance and black Greek step. Each activity includes a literacy component wherein the group reads an age appropriate text relevant to their chosen recreation activity.
“We kicked off the project for the second time in 25 years in March and had an incredible turnout of at least 40 to 50 children on the weekends,” said Bagayoko. “We were blown away by the interest and had a blast getting to know each one of the participants. It’s extremely rewarding for our volunteers to see the positive influence they have on the kids and we’re looking forward to another great session this fall.”
For more information about RECreate and to get involved, please contact Bagayoko and Palmisano at recreate@