Lurone "Coach" Jennings, Sr. Addresses Civitan Club

Friday, May 09, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Youth and Family Development Administrator for the City of Chattanooga Lurone "Coach" Jennings, Sr. said to the Civitan Club Friday afternoon, "I'm just a servant to God and a servant to God's people."

He said Chattanooga Youth and Family Development has five main areas of focus. The first area is education. 

Coach Jennings said the Youth and Family Development Department's goal was "developing smarter students and stronger families.

" He said they wanted to "collaborate and supplement what our public schools are doing."

To do this, he said part of Mayor Andy Berke's plan was to "bring education and literacy to the forefront" at the city's 17 family recreation centers. 

Coach Jennings said, "We were able to implement our city-wide literacy initiative...At this time, students and parents can go to any of our 17 centers to get the tutoring they need."

The second YFD focus area is leadership. 

He believes part of the success they have seen thus far has come from good leadership. Coach Jennings said he enjoyed working with Mayor Berke because of the mayor's belief in "getting the right people in the right place with passion and commitment."

He said Mayor Berke looked for people that "go to bed every night and wake up thinking about how to make Chattanooga better." 

He continued, "We want all city workers to not just look at themselves as employees, but as leaders."

The third focus area is career development. Coach Jennings said the city wanted to "encourage students and parents to start thinking of career opportunities." 

He said he also wants people to "see work as a positive thing instead of a negative thing...We're trying to break cycles of families who have gone through entitlement programs."

He also pointed out, "Crime reduction has to involve career development." 

He said out of the approximately 16 men who participated in the call-in as apart of the Violence Reduction Initiative, four of them now have jobs. Coach Jennings said because these men wanted to turn their lives around, Mayor Berke found companies who were willing to overlook their criminal backgrounds.

The fourth focus area of the YFD is recreation. He said this important because it improves the health of the community. 

City recreation programs include Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, Seasonal Sports and Athletic Leagues, Therapeutic Recreation, and Senior Olympics.

He said people come from all over to play softball in Chattanooga. Coach Jennings also praised Chattanooga's senior recreational programs, saying, "We have one of the top senior citizen programs in the country." 

He said seniors at the Eastgate Senior Center have games, fitness activities, and even take trips across the country. Recently, a group from the center went to New Orleans.

He said, "These people will teach you how to live and enjoy life." 

The last focus area of the YFD is social services. Coach Jennings described this area as "the benevolence arm for the city.

He said, "When people are trying to bounce back and get on their feet, our department serves them." 

He said this branch was "not just a handout, but a hand up," saying the YFD provides people in need with job referrals and skills training.

He also said the city encouraged local churches to get involved. He said, "When individuals have needs as such, they also have spiritual needs and emotional needs."


New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: JONATHAN ALEXANDER PRUITT                         KAILYN ELIZABETH SNYDER 35 OSCEOLA ... (click for more)

Dr. Mary Headrick Calls For Voters To Get Involved

 Dr. Mary Headrick says in a Labor Day speech, “Grassroots participation in elections is the only thing that stands in the way of billionaires and corporations taking over democracy in the United States of America.” In her keynote speech at the East Tennessee Labor Day Picnic, the candidate for the 3rd US Congressional District addressed the audience of over 200.  She ... (click for more)

Greg Beck Asking County Commission Chairmanship; Others Seeking Post Behind The Scenes

Long time County Commissioner Greg Beck is seeking the chairmanship of the Hamilton County Commission, he said. Several other commissioners are working behind the scenes to try to get the top commission post. The job opened up after the unexpected defeat of Commission Chairman Fred Skillern in the August primary election. Larry Henry, who has held the chairmanship several ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 4 Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash At Soddy Daisy

One person has died in a wreck Sunday at Soddy Daisy in which four other people were injured. The wreck happened at 12:35 p.m. when a vehicle traveling north struck another vehicle that was pulling onto the highway. A small red truck was badly damaged in the crash. It happened at 12130 Dayton Pike near Tavern Sports Bar and Grille. One person was airlifted, while the ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)