Utica, NY (WIBX) - Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente is announcing another successful year for the County's Children Care Initiative, implemented in 2009. The program, a collaboration between the Youth Bureau and other community agencies, was instituted to educate the areas young people on the importance of volunteerism and community involvement.

Youth Bureau Director, Bob Roth says the aim is to encourage and increase civic engagement, "And, encouraging our children and funded youth agencies to give back to the community. To show them the importance of volunteerism and to make their communities better. It was really well received by the agencies directors and their staffs. We went from 466 youth volunteers in 2009, to an increase of 618 youth volunteers in 2010," Roth said.

In a written statement Picente said, "The youth of our County are provided daily with invaluable life lessons through their service with these agencies. The intent of Oneida County Children Care was to teach our children the importance of community service through volunteerism. The services these youth volunteers delivered to the residents of Oneida County were truly remarkable."

According to the Children Care Initiative end of year report, 546 hours of volunteer services were performed in the County by 618 youths in 2010.  Some of the services provided to residents include, preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinners to 300 people in Rome, providing 350 Camden school-aged children with book bags and school supplies. Also, the students assisted mechanics with repairing bicycles and providing new helmets for 359 children.

The agencies that participate and are funded through the Oneida County Children Care Initiative are, The Boys and Girls Club of the Mohawk Valley, Compeer of the Mohawk Valley, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Family Services of the Mohawk Valley, Sergeant Eli Parker Youth Center, The Neighborhood Center, Thea Boman House, Utica Municipal Housing Authority, Utica Safe Schools/Healthy Students/The Underground Cafe, the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley and the YMCA of the Mohawk Valley.

For information about the 2009 initiative to increase civic involvement among the areas young people visit www.ocgov.net.