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More than 264 South Central Nebraska youth attended the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney each day over the past five weeks, according to Dr. Nita Unruh, NYSP project director/community liaison.
In all, 421 children registered to participate in the youth development program. The children participated in two hours of physical activity and one hour of classroom activity daily. Classes included drug and alcohol prevention, math/science, nutrition, careers and personal development. Further, each child received a free, USDA-approved breakfast, snack and lunch every day.
“NYSP is an invaluable program for the children of South Central Nebraska,” Dr. Unruh said. “At our camp, we provide a safe, healthy, educational and exciting place for these children to come for five weeks in the summer. Our goal is to promote good citizenship, self-esteem and healthy lifestyles.
“We had campers from as far west as Gothenburg and as far east as Grand Island, south to Holdrege and north to Amherst,” Dr. Unruh said.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services funds NYSP programs at 214 campuses across the nation. A $64,500 Health and Human Services grant funded NYSP at UNK. In addition, the university also received a grant for $25,000 from the USDA to provide free meals for the children.
NYSP staff members, in addition to Dr. Unruh, included: Bill Murphy, medical coordinator; Mary Iten, drug and alcohol prevention awareness instructor; Carleen Jurgensen, payroll and accounts payable staff; and Dr. Ed Scantling, project administrator.