Meridian Star

Life

October 20, 2013

Activity centers in the news

MERIDIAN — This has been a busy month for Meridian Parks and Recreation staff!

     You may have noticed the new mayor is placing a lot of emphasis on improving facilities for youth and family recreation. This past week the "old" Velma Young Center was renewed – it was given a facelift and turned into a children’s activity center. The ballfield and swimming pool have been updated, and the area is fenced for children's safety.

    The new facility will open for public use in November, from 8 a.m.-noon. The Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi will use it in the afternoons.  

    Velma Young was the wife of E.F.Young Jr., who, in 1931, while working as a barber in Meridian, recognized a need for hair care products for the African-American population and started a manufacturing company. Young also opened a hotel and barber shop, a shoe shine parlor and a beauty shop in his name. The hotel still stands and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

     Velma Young took over the family business at her husband's death. Her son Charles L. Young became a representative to the state Congress – a seat now occupied by her grandson Charles L. Young Jr. Her granddaughter Veldore Young is a local youth court judge.

    For those unfamiliar with the Velma Young Center, it is located next to Magnolia Elementary School, at 2400 16th Ave. (turn off 23rd Avenue at 24th Street).

    On the first Saturday of this month, Highland Park was the focus of a family-oriented Play Day. Children and their parents were invited to come out and enjoy the weather, as well as games and a light lunch. Highland Park is the source of many memories for citizens of Meridian. Mayor Percy Bland said he hopes to revive these good feelings so that future families and groups may return for activities.

    

Walk to School Day

    

    Remember the days when you walked to school? Well, some kids still are walking to school, if they live close enough.The difference? In our day there were not so many automobiles speeding to work.

    On Oct. 29, Meridian Public School District will sponsor another Walk to School Day event. Meridian Parks and Recreation employees participated in one on Oct. 11, assisting students as they walked the road leading into Northwest Junior High School. Next Tuesday, you will see Parks and Rec employees manning the crossing at United Fence Company and up 39th Avenue to help children cross the street safely. There is a real need for crossing guards in that area for the school kids forced to dash through early morning traffic.

    Let’s try to keep an eye out for these children as they cross the streets mornings on their way to school.

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