Greeley is in a great place right now; new businesses are sprouting up, unemployment is low, there’s a positive vibe in the air, and best of all, we have a great group of residents and who have come together to create the ACE and G.Town Promise initiatives.
These initiatives are based on what I believe to be the foundation of positive action towards achieving desirable goals for our city, particularly our youth. That foundation is the aligned principled relationships that are being built throughout Greeley.
Here are two recent examples of how these relationships have resulted in positive outcomes:
- Starting two years ago, Greeley City Government partnered with School District 6 to help fill a gap in middle school sports due to budget cuts in education. Since then, the program has grown. This fall six area schools participated in our middle school sports league; Franklin, Heath, John Evans, Brentwood, Winograd, and Bella Romero Academy. That resulted in a total of 202 students playing football and 211 playing volleyball this fall. However, the biggest increase in participation has been in boys’ basketball where we currently have 252 students playing; this is a whopping 145% increase over last year!
- The other program is our Ride Free with ID program where elementary through high school students can ride the city bus in Greeley, Evans and Garden City for free. The results of this program, which was instituted at the beginning of the school year, are astounding. Here’s the comparison: As of the end of October, almost 7,400 students had ridden GET (Greeley-Evans Transit) compared to just over 2,000 in 2013. That’s an increase of 264%! But what is truly telling is that it has resulted in at least a 13% increase in student participation in after school activities, in various sports, clubs, and other programs. These are healthy signs for our kids.
When talking to people about the initiatives, I sometimes make reference to our youth as our “Crown Jewels.” I truly believe that they are and I’m extremely proud of our community and our City staff for coming together to overcome barriers and support our most valuable asset: Greeley and Evans youth.
Roy H. Otto, City Manager