The Expo Center in Clarksdale, home to Coahoma County Youth Outreach, saw a lot of action this summer with serving over 200 youth each day. According to Director, Kendrick Travis, the local program is a safe haven for the youth of the county. The outreach was created by the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors in 2012 as a community recreation and enrichment program. In the first three years of operations, it has provided after-school and summer activities including health and wellness, arts, recreational, dance, and computer technology. The 40,000 sq. ft. former agricultural exposition center was converted into a community recreation and enrichment center and now houses the local Boys & Girls Club, a club of the MS Delta organization.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi provided a grant from the Endowment for the Future of Northwest Mississippi to establish a community garden and purchase additional equipment. The garden is still in the planning stage; interrupted by the 2016 spring flooding. Youth are learning how to grow plants from seed in a make-shift greenhouse and are planning for a large garden in the spring of 2017. A local church provided funds for state-of-the art playground and plans are underway for phase two of this project. The large area around the facility has a fishing pond and area for outdoor sports. The center has a newly installed basketball court and classrooms for study, dance, and fitness.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi manages 233 donor-established funds and has distributed $18.3 million to support more than 420 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the foundation. Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501.c.3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties. A board of 19 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation. Learn more about the Community Foundation at www.cfnm.org or call 662.449.5002.