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Mozart Park community “Summer Nights Out” series kicks off in Jamaica Plain tonight

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Mozart Park community “Summer Nights Out” series kicks off in Jamaica Plain tonight

The Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) launches this year’s “Summer Nights Out” series tonight with Festival Night, a safe, fun event brimming with games and activities for the entire community.

The festivities at Mozart Park will include a “moon walk” inflatable bounce house and magician performing sleight of hand tricks and illusions for the kids, and a chance for parents to kick back and cool off with an ice cream as the sun sets. The HSTF’s Community Development Artists will be on hand to show off their work on the park’s new addition, the Mozart Mural.

HSTF introduced “Summer Nights Out” seven years ago. The events will be held each Thursday night this summer as part of the community-based organization’s efforts to reclaim Boston neighborhoods suffering from the negative influences of gangs, drugs and crime. The series is intended to provide local youth with appealing alternatives to the trouble that often develops on hot summer nights, such as artistic and community-building activities.

Festival Night is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mozart Park, located at the corner of Mozart and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain. For more information, including details about upcoming summer series events, visit www.hydesquare.org.

Mass. senators announce $300,000 for ABCD to help women find trade jobs

Action for Boston Community Development Inc. (ABCD) will receive $300,000 through the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grants, Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., announced Tuesday.

The grants are designed to assist employers and labor unions in the placement and retention of women in apprenticeship and nontraditional occupations. ABCD will work in partnership with The Building Trades Training Director’s Association and National Association of Women in Construction to establish the “Bridge to Real Careers in Construction” Project.

“In the face of an ever-growing demand for building trades workers, the WANTO grant is the perfect opportunity to increase the presence of women in the field,” said ABCD President and CEO Bob Coard in a statement. “… ABCD will ensure this new pipeline for building trades jobs will be presented to those who can benefit from such an innovative program.”

Coard thanked the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation for supporting federal initiatives like the WANTO grants, which Kerry said are important to continue workplace equality efforts.

“This funding will help women in Boston get job placement help and training in a traditionally male-dominated field,” Kerry said in a statement. “A job applicant’s gender should never trump an individual’s competency, talent, determination and drive.”

“Boston Summer Scholars” jobs program to benefit hundreds of Hub youth

Mayor Thomas M. Menino last week joined John Hancock CEO John DesPrez and P. Steven Ainsley, publisher of The Boston Globe, at Boston University’s Agganis Arena to announce the launch of the “Boston Summer Scholars” teen summer jobs initiative.

Boston Summer Scholars is an outgrowth of John Hancock’s Summer of Opportunity Program and The Boston Globe Foundation’s Opportunity for Unity effort. Together, the financial services and newspaper corporations will provide nearly $1 million in funds and in-kind services to support more than 500 jobs throughout the city, making Boston Summer Scholars the largest corporate supporter of summer jobs in the city this year.

“We are committed to providing our young people with productive and educational experiences during the summer,” said Menino in a statement. “A summer job is a great way to learn life skills and have fun, but with thousands of teens needing employment, the city can’t do it alone.”

Participating students will be employed by John Hancock, the Globe and nonprofit organizations throughout the city, and will attend weekly life skills workshops at Agganis Arena.

“As business people, we can’t solve the whole problem, but we can help move things in the right direction,” said DesPrez.