Highland Terrace high on activities

Tribune Chronicle photos / Bob Coupland
Myles Jay, left, instructs Azariyon Foster, 8, on Zumba boxing at the Highland Terrace weekly community gathering in Warren. Children take part in chess, Zumba boxing, arts and crafts and other activities each Tuesday evening.

Tribune Chronicle photos / Bob Coupland Myles Jay, left, instructs Azariyon Foster, 8, on Zumba boxing at the Highland Terrace weekly community gathering in Warren. Children take part in chess, Zumba boxing, arts and crafts and other activities each Tuesday evening.

WARREN — Each Tuesday evening, children of the Highland Terrace homes spend time participating in various activities, sporting events and games as well as receiving food and other items as part of a weekly community event called ”Ignite.”

This year, new basketball courts, sports playing fields and a soon-to-be installed playground are added attractions.

The public will have the chance to see what has been completed and what is being planned during the Highland Pride Community Event Night 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lane and Arnold avenues SW.

Project Playground is a partnership with Trumbull County Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Highland Terrace, Second Baptist Church, Ignite Ministries, Team Sanders, Gamechangers and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

Sandy Kellar, property manger at TMHA, said Project Play is a revitalization initiative for Highland Terrace and the surrounding neighborhood. The purpose of the collaborative effort is to provide children a safe place to play and enjoy outdoor activities on the southwest side of Warren.

Kellar said the first phase was a baseball field and new lighting completed in 2016. The second phase included two restored basketball courts and new lighting done this year. The final phase is a playground and picnic pavilion planned for this summer.

She said ”Ignite” has 125 to 160 volunteers and community members from churches providing food and activities for the children.

”Many people saw what was going on and wanted to partake and help. This is the third summer we have done this,” Kellar said.

Kellar said the playing fields and basketball courts have surveillance cameras for the safety of children. A three-on-three basketball night is set for Aug. 12.

A kickoff for the playground will be Tuesday with city officials invited to attend. Plans are to have it completed by July 18 in the southeast corner of property.

Kellar said Highland Terrace was busy as the 10th annual Brick City Reunion of former residents met in June with a day of music, games and food. She said more than 200 people attended. Previously, the reunion had been at Perkins Park.

Kellar said the planned pavilion for the final phase will be put in by the end of summer for events.

”We hope all we are doing will bring awareness. The children are looking forward to all this being done,” she said.

Donations helped with the $15,000 to $20,000 project costs.

Kellar said Miles Jay, who instructs children on chess and Zumba boxing, ”brings teenage mentors for the children. They learn of teamwork and competitiveness.”

Pastor Jeff Dennis of First Christian Assembly said this is the third year for the church to provide outreach to the program, working with Second Baptist Church in Warren. Twelve people help each Tuesday.

”It is quite a joint effort. We want to help families so they don’t have to spend their money,” he said, noting they provide a clothing and personal hygiene products giveaway,

Kellar said it has been a dream of her’s and Pastor Tod Johnson’s of Second Baptist Church for the playground and basketball courts to be completed.

”We hope having this will teach the children and teens ownership and taking care of things,” she said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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