LIVONIA COMMISSION ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH
In 2016, the Livonia Commission on Children and Youth continued the administration of the Livonia Youth/Spree Scholarship Program sponsored by the Livonia Anniversary Committee. The Commission distributed brochures advertising the scholarships to the local high schools and libraries. The scholarship information was presented in the City Winter-Spring Newsletter, on Livonia Television, in the Livonia Observer, on the City's website and through the Department of Community Resources. This year we only received seventeen applications. We awarded three $2000 scholarships. Commissioners Dan Spurling, Jeff Nork, Jessica Claypoole, and Jim Keller reviewed and selected the most deserving recipients. Scholarship awards were presented during the Livonia Spree Pancake breakfast in June.
The 2016 Arbor Day Project in April was coordinated with the cooperation of both the Livonia Public Schools and the Clarenceville Public Schools. Arborvitae Tree seedlings were packaged and distributed to all fourth grade classes in the two school systems. Global ReLeaf and the Youth Commission shared the cost of supplying more than eighteen hundred trees. Commissioner Ken Balcoff chaired the committee this year.
The Youth Commission continues to support monetarily the “Senior All Night Parties” or a Senior Breakfast for the 2016 graduates. The Livonia High Schools, Clarenceville High School and Ladywood High School requested a $300 donation towards their parties which were held on school grounds.
In 2016, Honor Certificates were presented to all graduating seniors who had achieved a 3.0 grade point average or higher from Clarenceville, Ladywood, Churchill, Franklin and Stevenson High Schools. Commissioner Dan Spurling and John Grzebik spearheaded this project.
Acknowledging that back to school is a costly time of year for low-income parents, the Livonia Youth Commission held its annual school supply program for the sixth consecutive year. The Commission distributed more than 189 backpacks filled with school supplies to low-income families whose names were provided by the Livonia Goodfellows. Both monetary and supply donations were received from the Livonia Anniversary Committee, Livonia Kids and Families, PEP Center, Walgreens, Sri Shirdi Saibaba Temple, Community Alliance Credit Union, Kohl’s Care Program, City employees’ jeans days, and several Livonia families. The commission also purchased school supplies with their funds. Commissioners Dan Spurling and Jeff Nork were primarily responsible for this project and were assisted by other Commissioners, Chris Swish of Community Resources, City staff, Kohl’s employees, Livonia Police Service Aids, and many other volunteers.
Emergency stickers, which are to be placed on the bedroom windows of children, senior citizens or handicapped individuals, continue to be available at City Hall as well as from the Livonia Fire Department. Information for obtaining these stickers is shown on Livonia Television.
The Youth Commission, in an effort to reach out to the low-income youth of Livonia, hosted a holiday party on two consecutive Saturdays the 12th and 19st of November for families who registered with the Livonia Goodfellows. While Goodfellows representatives interviewed the parents, the children were invited to enjoy snacks and crafts. They were given mittens/gloves, scarves and hats. The children were also given an opportunity to have their faces painted and to visit and have their photograph taken with Santa at the Senior Center. Commissioners Dan Spurling and Jeff Nork headed this project and were aided by Commissioners, Livonia Police Reserves, Valentino’s Pizzeria, Jimmy John’s, Community Resources, Holmes Middle School students, Youth Assistance Program, the Spurling family and numerous volunteers from the community.
This nine member commission meets quarterly on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of Livonia City Hall. Commission members are: Ken Balcoff, Jessica Claypoole, Laura Duggan, George Gostias, John Grzebik, Nadia Ideh, James Keller, Jeff Nork, and Dan Spurling. James Keller turned in his resignation in November 2016.
Commission Officers for 2015-2016:
- Dan Spurling, Chairperson
- Jeff Nork, Vice Chairperson
- James Keller, Secretary