News Flash

City of Ithaca News

Posted on: July 29, 2020

Community Support Allows IYB to Return Staff and Programs

Ithaca Youth Bureau Logo

Community Support Allows IYB to Return Staff and Programs 

The Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB), in conjunction with the United Way and the Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, has received generous private support to bring back furloughed IYB staff, to navigate COVID-19 protocols, to re-imagine programming, and  to serve over 400 youth and families in the coming months. One $100,000 anonymous donation and another for $10,000 are particularly significant funding that covers operating expenses through December 31, 2020. Individual donations made since the closure was announced May 1 will also be utilized, and future gifts can be accepted at any time through friendsiyb.org 

Youth Development staff are working on new methods to deliver traditional programming and on innovations including a partnership with the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) summer high school program. Playgrounds were re-opened earlier in July. Some recreation programming begins Monday, July 27 (Cross Country Running, Get Your Play On, Sport Spot, Tennis Anyone) and more will be added. Families can get more information about dates, fees and details from “Community Pass”  

IYB Director Liz Klohmann expressed on behalf of the IYB staff: “The recent anonymous donation helps us bring our full team back and get programs up and running.  We are grateful for the community support and excited to get our programming underway.  We have missed our families and children and can’t wait to see them! Programming will take place in the parks and pavilions for the time being.  Our building is closed to the public, but we are here and working!”

James Brown, President and CEO of United Way of Tompkins County remarked: "In the current environment, where individuals and households face public health, workplace, and myriad social and economic challenges, United Way volunteers and staff welcome the opportunity to serve as a platform for giving to Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau.   The Youth Bureau’s ability to safely restart critical programs and services at this time will strengthen the health and development of local youth and our broader community."    

Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau Board President Jeff Love added, “As we continue to battle this global crisis, our community’s most vulnerable treasures need the support of programs and people like the ones of the IYB, now more than ever! This financial support could not have come at a more necessary time, and we are so thankful for it!”

Klohmann elaborated that additional donations will be used to support modifications and adjustments to programs that implement new COVID safety protocols to ensure the safety of our children, families and staff.  . In addition, the IYB and Cass Park often do not have the necessary budget funds to update and/or replace equipment that is outdated or in disrepair.   

“The IYB is committed to helping youth, families and staff explore their feelings, challenge their beliefs, learn, and find their voice around topics such as structural racism, discrimination, implicit bias, and social justice by providing experiences and programming.   Funds to support these efforts would help grow newly forming partnerships in the community and with ICSD.  We also anticipate budget reductions impacting IYB services and programs over the next several years due to COVID implications.”

Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB) is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the IYB in its endeavors. As a city department, the Ithaca Youth Bureau is precluded from directly allocating its resources and staff toward soliciting private funding. Due to increasing youth needs and decreasing government budgets in recent years, the FIYB was established to support the Ithaca Youth Bureau in fulfilling its mission. New volunteers and board members are always welcome, as well as donors. For more information, visit friendsiyb.org or email Love at friendsiyb@gmail.com 

IYB’s mission is “to provide youth with the tools they need to build a successful life for themselves and change the world for the better. We believe that all citizens can be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, and socially and civically engaged. We help prepare youth to live successful lives as adults by providing a variety of recreation and youth development opportunities that will help youth develop to their full potential. We lend support to discouraged youth who are struggling to find their place in the world. We help our program participants understand that all people have a place in this world and together we can create a better tomorrow.” Contact Klohmann at lvance@cityofithaca.org


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