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Camp Fire USA Announces Grant Of Over $1.1 Million From New York Life Foundation To Support A State-Of-The-Art Middle School Program

Grant Will Launch The Discovery Program Which Is Designed To Empower Underserved Youth

November 17, 2004 (Kansas City, Mo.) - Camp Fire USA today announced a four-year, $1,148,500 grant from the New York Life Foundation to launch Discovery, a comprehensive middle school program in 27 Camp Fire councils. The Discovery program offers middle school children nearly 1,000 enrichment activities that build their interpersonal and academic skills and helps them plan and implement community service projects.

"No segment of America's youth has greater developmental challenges than middle schoolers," said Deanna Armstrong, chief program officer, Camp Fire USA. "Developmentally, there is no stage in a young person's life where a place to belong and the guidance and mentoring of caring adults is more important than during the middle school years. With the help of the New York Life Foundation, we are able to implement the Discovery program that will help thousands of middle school students to become caring, confident youth and future leaders. We remain committed to closing the gap for 11-15 year olds."

"The New York Life Foundation is proud to partner with Camp Fire USA to engage and challenge middle school students," said Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer, New York Life, and chairman, the New York Life Foundation. "This exciting new program will positively impact thousands of middle school youth throughout the country, helping to make them stronger citizens, and better prepared to contribute to their families, their communities and their own futures."

While hundreds of communities across the United States will ultimately benefit from Camp Fire USA's new middle school program, the initial nine Camp Fire councils served by this grant include: Birmingham, Ala.; Cleveland; Dallas; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Seattle. Nine additional cities will be added each year, for a total of 27 Camp Fire councils.

Discovery, Camp Fire USA's new middle school program, promotes the concept that early adolescents need choice and positive relationships with mentoring adults. The program curriculum includes nearly 1,000 activity choices, is adaptable to program and individual needs and encourages personalization. In addition, service-learning activities are emphasized, and each activity builds specified youth outcomes and is linked to age-appropriate educational standards.

About Camp Fire USA
Providing nearly a century of service to America's youth and their families, Camp Fire USA is one of the nation's leading not-for-profit youth and family development organizations, serving nearly three quarters of a million participants annually. With national headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., Camp Fire provides all-inclusive, coeducational programs in hundreds of communities across the United States. By design, Camp Fire's programs, including small group experiences, after-school programs, camping and environmental education, child care and service learning, build confidence in younger children and provide hands-on, youth-driven leadership experiences for older youth. For more information, visit

About The New York Life Foundation
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the New York Life Foundation ( is the major vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children initiative, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Through Volunteers for LIFE, its national community involvement initiative, New York Life also encourages volunteer participation by its employees, agents and retirees.

Lisa Fels
New York Life
(212) 576-7937

Vanessa E. Adams
Camp Fire USA
Telephone: 816 756 1950, ext. 206

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Camp Fire USA Announces Grant Of Over $1.1 Million From New York Life Foundation To Support A State-Of-The-Art Middle School Program

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