May­or’s Youth Assis­tance Program

We can­not always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The May­or’s Youth Assis­tance Pro­gram is devel­op­ing through city lead­er­ship and local advo­cates, and will offi­cial­ly launch in the fall of 2024.

We are in the tree-plant­i­ng phase to invest in our next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers through the May­or’s Youth Assis­tance Pro­gram. Five, ten, fif­teen years from now, if the city is real­ly locked in and focused on edu­ca­tion, Mar­i­on will become a city with a stronger work­force, lead­ing to less crime, and will become one of the best places to live, work, and play in the state of Indi­ana. It is by far the great­est thing we can do for our city.” — May­or Ronald Mor­rell, Jr.

In Feb­ru­ary of 2024, the City launched its first phase, Mar­i­on Reads.

Mar­i­on Reads

This cam­paign aims to improve Marion’s lit­er­a­cy rate through part­ner­ing with Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools and oth­er select orga­ni­za­tions. The pro­gram serves to encour­age cit­i­zens to vol­un­teer their time to read to chil­dren through as many avenues as possible.

Below are some cap­tured moments from May­or Ronald Mor­rell, Jr.‘s tour around local ele­men­tary schools, read­ing to the chil­dren, Ron’s Big Mis­sion, an inspi­ra­tional book about an African Amer­i­can boy with big dreams to become a pilot, and the break­through he made when tak­ing a stand at his local library to obtain a library card dur­ing the late 1950s, a time of racial seg­re­ga­tion. The book, launched by the City of Mar­i­on in coor­di­na­tion with Black His­to­ry Month, was based on true events lead­ing the suc­cess of Ron McNair who lat­er became a sci­en­tist and famous astronaut.

Mayor reading at Frances Slocum
Mayor reading at MPL
Mayor reading at St. Paul

Stay tuned for more Mar­i­on Reads ini­tia­tives, and be sure to post, tag us at @CityofMarionIN, and use the hash­tag #Mar­i­on­Reads in any ini­tia­tive you begin or are already doing to read to our youth.

If you would like to be involved or offer sup­port in any way, please email City Devel­op­ment Direc­tor Dawn Con­well at dconwell@​cityofmarion.​in.​gov.