Castlewood Apartments in Winnsboro provides a Youth Recognition Program (YRP), which is sponsored by CAHEC (Community Affordable Housing Equity Corporation). Last year, CAHEC sent 10 qualified youth from Castlewood to the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in beautiful Asheville, N.C. and another trip is scheduled in June for Camp Rockfish in Parkton, N.C. Castlewood is hoping to send 12-15 youth this summer.
The purpose of this youth program is to encourage academic achievement, positive behaviors and service learning among student residents in grades three through 12. Students pledge to strive for good grades, maintain a good school attendance record and display positive behavior both in and out of school. YRP participants also agree to participate in one group fundraising activity and one group community service project per year.
Last winter, under the direction of Site Manger Debbie McGinnis, the youth at Castlewood fulfilled their service requirement by picking up the litter in the woods surrounding the apartment complex. This Saturday, April 28, they will be holding a hotdog/bake sale as their fundraising project. Proceeds of this event will be split equally among the camp participants to be used at Camp Rockfish in June. The public is encouraged to attend and donations are welcome.
In addition to funding the trip to Camp Rockfish, the youth participants in grades six-12 are eligible to participate in “Dollars for A’s.” At the end of the school year, students will receive a savings bond worth $50 for each “A” they receive as a final class grade. Last year a total of more than $500 was awarded to the participating youth at Castlewood for the “Dollars for A’s” program. Also, three of the Castlewood participants were awarded prizes, including the top award for an essay contest on last year’s CAHEC trip. There has been much positive feedback from our youth and residents regarding this program which we plan to continue in the future.