You can never be bored in Millvale, says 16-year old Monet.
With Yetter’s homemade candy on Grant Avenue and festivals throughout the year, Monet thinks there’s something for everyone in her community, even teens like her.
Monet’s perspective, along with other teens and kids in the community, were recorded into podcasts at the Millvale Community Library by Hear Me, a project out of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab which turns “up the volume on kids’ voices through media and technology.”
Hear Me, along with Allies for Children, the Sprout Fund and NEXTpittsburgh, are joining forces in a first-time Kidsburgh initiative focusing on transitional communities in Pittsburgh.
Together the four groups, along with the community, will host “Millvale is Kidsburgh Community Celebration” for youth and families on April 26.
Millvale is the first neighborhood spotlighted through the initiative. Three more will be chosen over the next year.
“We chose Millvale because it’s a tightly-knit community with a strong base of youth-serving organizations working together to improve the lives of children and families in their community,” says Ryan Coon, a program officer with Sprout Fund.
The goal is to connect child-serving leaders in neighborhoods throughout the city to learn who and what makes a difference in the community’s lives, and to discover realities and concerns facing children and families in the community, says Coon.
Allies for Children, a new child advocacy nonprofit, is working with Millvale community leaders to establish a child-centered action agenda for the community.
“It’s a small community agenda focused on youth and what can be done to continue the work the community is already doing,” says Allies for Children Executive Director and former Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd.
Dowd says the nonprofit has never done something like this before—an initiative to help people become better advocates while allowing the nonprofit to connect directly with neighborhoods and the people in them.
Allies for Children met with the Millvale Community Library to discuss what is happening in Millvale that’s beneficial for children, as well as concerns and ways to address them.
“It was great to see people really get connected,” says Dowd. “It wasn’t perfect consensus, but there’s an understanding of what needs to done.”
The library recently opened in August and is the community’s first in its history.
“We are creating the culture and the vision for where we want to go collectively as a youth-serving organization in Millvale,” says Millvale Community Library President Brian Wolovich. “Now, we have all these amazing people coming from different directions with so many resources–we couldn’t be luckier.”
The Sprout Fund is currently documenting the lives of people, organizations and programs serving children in Millvale, as well as the people organizing the April 26 event. Celebration goers can browse through the written stories and photos at iPad stations that day.
Interactive kiosks will be at the event where people can listen to Monet’s podcast, along with other youth’s interviews. Food and drink will also be available.
Millvale is Kidsburgh Community Celebration for youth and families kicks off Saturday, April 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Millvale Community Library, 213 Grant Street, Millvale, 15219.