NEO to hold event to celebrate local afterschool programs in Grass Valley |

NEO to hold event to celebrate local afterschool programs in Grass Valley

New Events and Opportunities, also known as NEO, a local nonprofit youth group, will gather with youth and community members in downtown Grass Valley today to hold a Lights on Afterschool event, a national day that celebrates and recognizes the important role that existing after-school programs play in the lives of youth, families and the local community.

“We’re bringing together a bunch of different nonprofit organizations, youth-serving groups, and we’re going to celebrate their work in our community because it’s important that we highlight them,” NEO co-founder Halli Ellis said.

The event, which will begin at 5 p.m. today in the Grass Valley city hall parking lot, will include a rally and march through the streets of the city’s downtown area, and will conclude with youth speakers and performances by the Nevada County Yo Yo Club, and Step It Up Dance Studio.

“Each group is going to give a little testimony of why they’re involved with their group and how it’s impacted their lives,” Ellis said. “I think this is just a great way for community businesses to get involved and show their support for a community and youth center. We definitely need more representatives from the city and county to step up and support us. We can’t do it on our own.”

NEO is currently accepting donations to pay for a youth and community center to house their organization and the activities they provide a growing number of youth in the area.

Ellis said that a youth center could help students succeed in school and improve public safety and health.

“We realize that there is a need in the community,” Ellis said. “There’s currently no after-school program for high school students, and so we want to raise awareness of that.”

For information or to donate to NEO go to

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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