The Friends of the Mount Vernon Arts, Recreation and Youth Programs. Inc. (FRMVARYP) established as a non-for-profit corporation by New York State in 2012 and officially recognized as a Federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization in December 2014. With the decline of municipal funding, this Not-for-Profit corporation was formed to provide financial, volunteer, and programmatic support for recreational, cultural, senior citizen and youth services to the residents of Mount Vernon. Specifically, the FRMVARYP coordinates efforts and raises funds to sponsor youth and senior programs; concerts and performing arts; health, fitness and wellness activities; instruction and training; and recreation facilities improvements that benefit the underprivileged.
Since its creation, the corporation has successfully accomplished its purpose by: (a) direct fundraising efforts with individual donors; (b). secured private and public funds through Arts Westchester, Time Warner, Montefiore Health System, Junior League of Westchester and the Sports Underdome; (c) planned giving programs and advertising for volunteers to assist in enrichment and recreation programs for the youth, adult and senior populations. Events such as Mount Vernon Proud Day, CityFest and the Summer Breeze concerts yields approximately 3,000 residents served; and (d) sponsorship of 7 after-school programs, 2 sports leagues, an annual youth healthy eating initiative, and other youth and cultural programs throughout the community.
Given our staffing limitations, most of our programs rely of volunteers. As a result, there is a plethora of volunteer opportunities for Con Edison employees to assist with strengthening our capacity to provide service to the underprivileged youth and families. We welcome volunteers to serve as mentors to youth, youth panelists, assist with community events, such as school backpack give-away, Thanksgiving turkey distribution, bi-weekly food distribution, support team for city festivals, park cleanup and more.
In addition to our special events and activities, our ongoing after-school and weekend programs can benefit from volunteers to aid youth with homework and literacy development, and facilitators for various recreational activities. In the athletic unit, we seek volunteers to serve as coaches, managers, team parents, coordinators with our various sports leagues and community center-based programs.
Recreational sports are the foundation of competitive sports. Through instituting strong after school and weekend recreational programming we believe there will be a revitalization of interest in youth sports, and the creation of healthy competition at the same time as providing safe spaces for our youth to socialize. Providing alternative activities for youth of all ages is paramount to addressing adverse effects of social conditions that plague urban centers.
The Mount Vernon Beyond the Bell Youth Enrichment and Recreation Centers is a public-private partnership with a cross-section of government agencies: Mount Vernon Recreation Department, Mount Vernon City School District (MVCSD), community-based organization, and local businesses.
This partnership provides a supplementary youth development program combined with recreational activity, i.e. youth sports and non-athletic activities, to engage youth in physical activity while fostering a healthy competitive spirit and personal development.
The Beyond the Bell: Y.E.A.R. Program is open to all residents of Mount Vernon between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, with a special target population from minority low and moderate-income families. The program operates Monday - Friday from 6pm - 9pm and on Saturday mornings from 9am - 12pm.
Youth can select activity participation based on their individual interest and will be introduced to an array of sports and non-sports activities, such as Robotics, Coding, Chess, Dominos, scholarly debates and other Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities. The program model includes initiatives focused on social engagement, physical activities and sporting competitions. Our program utilizes educational and skill development workshops, personal incentives, and opportunities for participants to explore a variety of youth sports pathways. This program model is a proven alternative to crime life for youth and teens and has an epic success rate in youth development.