Reynoldsburg News

Youth Leadership Summit

McGrady: City, schools would share cost


Reynoldsburg City Councilman Cornelius McGrady III proposed last week that $4,900 be added to the parks and recreation department budget to cover Reynoldsburg's share of paying for a Youth Leadership Summit.

He first presented information to council in March about a youth leadership initiative that would include the summit and the creation of a Youth Advisory Council.

During a community development committee meeting May 6, McGrady handed out drafts of a projected budget and said the target month for the summit is now November.

"I have been meeting with school district leaders and we are looking to divide the costs of this conference," he said. "We looked at some things that could be addressed in-kind at the school and we also believe that sponsorship dollars could offset some of the cost.

"This will be a collaboration between the city and the school district," he said.

The summit is expected to cost a total of $16,825, he said. Of that amount, McGrady is asking the city to pay $4,900, with an in-kind contribution of $400.

The $4,900 would pay for T-shirts, breakfast and lunch for the participants and radio media coverage, he said. The in-kind contribution would come from the use of city space for quarterly meetings at the Reynoldsburg police station for organizers of the summit.

"I am asking that our Parks and Recreation Department budget be increased by $4,900," McGrady told committee members.

He said the school district's share of in-kind contributions would be $4,575, and would include space for the youth summit in a Reynoldsburg school, printing, postage, supplies, photography and recording.

Private sponsorships are listed in the budget at $750, with private in-kind contributions of $200.

A grant of $6,000 is expected to pay for a program consultant to run the conference, McGrady said.

He said Tricia Moore, director of partnerships and shared services for the school district, is working on obtaining the grant.

"Sponsorship dollars could also offset some of the expenses," McGrady said.

He said the budget is based on about 400 summit participants, 50 quarterly town hall participants and 20 youth leadership representatives.

McGrady said one of the youth summit's main goals will be "to help students develop the interest and skills to become stewards of community issues."

"They will have the opportunity to shape policy at the local, state and national levels," he said.

He said professional organizations, community leaders, educators, student mentors and others will contribute to the summit, which he hopes to make a yearly event in Reynoldsburg.

McGrady said the youth leadership representatives would be Reynoldsburg students who would form a Youth Advisory Council that would attend Reynoldsburg City Council sessions, meet monthly and attend quarterly town hall meetings.

He said the students would apply for the positions, and would be chosen based on experience, recommendations, knowledge of issues and an essay.

Parks and Recreation Director Joe Brown said McGrady approached him about the summit.

"I think this is something that needs to happen for the kids," he said. "Parks and Recreation would like to be involved in this project. Any time we can collaborate with the schools for the benefit of students is a win-win."

Councilwoman Leslie Kelly asked McGrady for more details about the summit and the budget so the information could be resubmitted as a final proposal and ordinance to the full council.

Councilman Chris Long said he would also like to see a memo of understanding between the school district and the city concerning the costs of the summit.