Representatives from Houston's Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, and the Houston Texans were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the NFL Youth Education Town (YET) in Harris County Tuesday afternoon.
The multi-million dollar educational and recreation facility is one of two centers funded by the NFL, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and the county. The NFL has been donating $1 million to the building of YET centers to Super Bowl host cities since 1992. The YET Centers are geared toward the educational and recreational development of at-risk children. The program provides a learning environment from libraries and computer labs to gymnasiums and fitness centers.
Commissioners Sylvia R. Garcia and El Franco Lee contributed $2 million for the building of the center, additional donations from the NFL allowed for two YET centers to be built, one in each of the commissioners' precincts.
"The kids need a place to be able to go to after school to be able to grow and play and learn," Garcia said.
Chuck Watson, Chairman of the Super Bowl Committee, spearheaded the project with the future of the city and its children in mind.
"One of the things we want to do is make sure that the youth in our community have both recreational opportunities as well as educational opportunities," Watson said. "This is the future of our city and we have to be able to let these young people grow and be better citizens."
The first YET center opened in Precinct 2. Located at 10918½ Bentley, it will be operated by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston, a Texans Foundation supported charity organization. The second facility is scheduled to open soon in Precinct 1.
"It's just a great place for the kids to come and spend some time," Garcia said. "We'd rather have them here in a nice safe environment where they can learn and grow than on the streets. It's a great day and a beautiful day for us here in Harris County."