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Fontana Named One of the Nation's 100 Best Communities for Young People

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The efforts of Fontana civic and community leaders were honored today when America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to youth and children, announced the city had been named a winner of the Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best) competition presented by ING, a global financial services company and leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers. Its 2010 recognition marks the second win for Fontana in the competition.

The 100 Best designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce. The competition is open to all communities that make children and youth a priority, including small towns, large cities, counties and school districts. In addition to enhancing local educational opportunities, most winning communities have taken steps to facilitate improved access to health care for its young people, encourage youth civic engagement and supply developmental resources that create better places for young people to live and grow. The entire 2010 list of 100 Best Communities for Young People and their accomplishments can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100Best.

“Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Fontana is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Fontana serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children, and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life.”

Fontana was again named one of the nation’s 100 Best because of the city’s “all hands on deck” approach to giving its young people the resources and services needed to lead dynamic and fulfilled lives. Through efficient and productive collaborations between the city government, schools, community leaders and organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Fontana’s young people are given a voice, leadership skills, healthy activities and job training to set them up for success.

The new $65 million Lewis Library and Technology Center is the culmination of the community’s youth-focused efforts. At the Center, students receive personal attention and assistance with assignments, increased classroom resources, better and equal access to education and a safe place to learn and become empowered. Additionally, the Fontana After School Program Coalition brings businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, fitness centers and schools together to provide at-risk and latch-key children with engaging afterschool activities, sports and physical fitness, help with homework and a healthy snack. Students hone their leadership skills with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council which gives them a voice in policy decisions and places them in the driver’s seat when addressing youth issues.

Mayor Frank Scialdone is extremely pleased with the recognition stating, "The City of Fontana is proud to be chosen by America's Promise Alliance and ING as one of the Nation's 100 Best Communities for Young People.

This is Fontana's second recognition, the first being in 2008.

Being chosen in two consecutive nationwide competitions for this prestigious honor is a testament to our community's commitment to young people and our willingness to go the extra steps to ensure that they develop into the future leaders of our society. As Mayor for the City of Fontana, I cannot thank enough the Fontana Unified School District Board of Education and their staff for their commitment to partner with the City of Fontana as well as with our many non-profit organizations in the city to ensure a safe, positive and nurturing environment in which our youth can blossom into future leaders."

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