I am proud to be here along with some of the
men and women who are out there every day
making a difference for Malden's young people.

I often say that the backbone of a strong economy
is a skilled workforce.  In Malden, we want to do
everything we can to make sure our students have
the skills they need to succeed.  And that means
creating quality programs that allow children to learn
before, during and after the regular school day.

That's why I launched the Malden 2:00-6:00 afternoon
initiative two years ago.  And it's why I am proud to be
here today.  

I am here to announce more than $1.5 million in
Community Development Block Grant awards. 
These awards will support the innovative and quality
programming of 49 community groups.

The programs that we are awarding today complement
our After School Initiative.   They make a difference in
children's lives.  They allow creativity so we can show our
kids that learning is fun.  And they give us a chance to
reinforce what's being taught in the classroom.

These youth programs are in every neighborhood of
Malden.  Together, they support the diverse needs of
our residents.  And they also build confidence, skills and
leadership in Malden's next generation.

I am especially proud today because this round of 
awards represents an increase in funding for youth programs
by more than $300,000.  We're showing our commitment to
youth development, to our children and to the future.