Walls knocked down to make way for Arlington YET center

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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ARLINGTON - The walls were spray painted with words such as poverty, drugs and homelessness to represent real-life barriers that keep some north Texas children from being as successful as they could be.

With sledge hammers, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith and other local community leaders knocked down those walls Tuesday as part of a project to offer educational and recreational opportunities afterschool and on weekends for the region's disadvantaged youth.

The Youth Education Town, a facility partially funded by the National Football League as a Super Bowl XLV legacy project, is set to open at The Salvation Army in Arlington next summer, officials said.

"It will be a safe and bully-free haven for 400 to 600 children each year," said Major Ward Matthews, co-CEO of The Salvation Army, DFW Metroplex Command, at the media event.

Youth programs to be offered at the YET facility, 712 W. Abram St., include nutrition education, career exploration, dance lessons and theater, homework assistance, tutoring and even a Dallas Cowboys Fitness Zone. Planned programming for adults includes legal assistance, counseling, employment support and financial education.

Funding for the 8,000-square-foot renovation inside The Salvation Army building includes a $1 million grant by the NFL, a $1 million grant by the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Charities and support from the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578

Twitter: @susanschrock

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