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Selectmen Say Thanks

It only took about eight years, but Westport is finally saying "thank you," to the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for its continued support of parenting and youth service programs. The Board of Selectmen, meeting with Terry Geigenack from the town's Human Services Department, decided it was well past time.

"Six to eight years to say 'thank you' to the United, that is a very long period," said Third Selectman Gavin Anderson. The board voted on Wednesday to accept the $10,000 grant that funds the Positive Youth Development's Parenting and Community Service Corps programs. Although the program has been funded by such grants for eight years, the latest vote was the first that included a memo of understanding expressing the town's sincere appreciation.

Geigenack, who serves as the assistant director of client services, said it was a very nice motion by the selectmen. The programs funded by the grant have been popular. The parenting courses allow Westport's parents in middle- and low-income families to get valuable training and preparation. The Community Service Corps places middle school students into nonprofit organizations. Neither program is restricted on income levels.

Geigenack said the middle school program is particularly popular. "The kids find that it especially helps build self-esteem when they see how they are giving back to the community," Geigenack said.

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