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HISTORY

For over 30 years, Chautauqua Striders has been “dedicated to the mentoring and guidance of youth through education, advocacy, and athletics.”


Begun in 1979 as the brainchild of Ron Graham and Dan Feather, the Chadakoin Valley Athletic Club (as it was first known) provided a constructive outlet for youth on Jamestown's north side. Track and field practices were held at Washington Middle School, and it was not long before participants were receiving national recognition. However, it became readily apparent that some of the athletes were having trouble maintaining their grades and succeeding in school. As a result, tutoring became an integral part of what became known as Chautauqua Striders the following school year.

Chautauqua Striders continued to grow and was formally incorporated into a non-profit organization in 1982, becoming a United Way member agency in 1985. Shortly afterwards, offices were moved to the YMCA, and a permanent "home" was established on the second floor providing a defined space for day to-day business, tutoring, and mentoring programs. Track and field continued to flourish, and the dream of having an all-weather facility became a reality with the construction of Strider Field at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. This world-class facility was formally dedicated in 1990 and gifted back to the Jamestown Public School System for its use.

Since the mid-90s, Chautauqua Striders has expanded its horizons considerably. SAFARI, an in-school tutoring program, was instituted at Jamestown High School. Project REACH was developed with the help of the United Way to target families in need of assistance on the north side of the city. Project Visions connected adult mentors with deserving students to share life experiences and enrichment activities.

The new millennium brought 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) federal grant monies that enabled the establishment of after school programs in many of Jamestown's public schools. Chautauqua Striders became the academic enrichment provider, and today maintains a presence in nearly every elementary and middle school in the City of Jamestown. Likewise, community-tutoring programs funded by foundations, state and federal grants, and in partnership with other service organizations, are also located throughout Chautauqua County. The Transition Team at Jamestown High School was created to assist selected 8th graders make the move from middle to high school and encourage personal growth and academic excellence. An Hispanic Outreach Coordinator became an important part of Chautauqua Striders to assist families and students as they transition to the American cultural and educational systems. Trained staff person was hired to mentor young adults in the Alternative Placement Program for middle and high school students most at risk academically and socially.

As the needs of children, young adults, and families in Jamestown and the surrounding area change, Chautauqua Striders will be there to meet the challenges ahead, believing the future is dependent on the health and the well-being of the next generation.

 

 

Timeline


1979
Chadakoin Valley Athletic Club established

1980
Track club re-named as Chautauqua Striders; Eric Healy became first athlete to win a national championship

1982
Chautauqua Striders incorporated as a not-for-profit

1985
Chautauqua Striders became a United Way agency

1990
Strider Field sports complex completed

2001
21st Century Community Learning Centers grant established after school programs. Chautauqua Striders chosen to provide the academic enrichment component

2004-2008
Expanded to include mentoring, Hispanic outreach, Northern Chautauqua County and community-based tutoring programs

2009
USATF Region 2 Junior Olympics held at Strider Field

 

 

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