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Park District Offers Youth Confidence Activities

New classes teach practical skills, boost kids’ confidence

Recent studies, such as the KidsMatter State of the Kids survey, show that today’s youth experience stress in their daily lives from a variety of sources, from bullying to homework to time spent on social media. The Naperville Park District is partnering with Lisa Lombardi Coaching Inc. to offer a youth confidence series, teaching practical life skills for kids that help build self-esteem, manage stress and prepare them for the future workplace and the challenges that life brings.

Classes available this fall for kids ages 6-13 include “Whack a Worry” at 5:00 p.m. on September 25 and “Public Speaking for Kids” at 6:15 p.m. on September 25. Students ages 11-19 can register for “Tween/Teen Life Coaching: Smashing the 7 Soft Skills” on November 8. Registration for each of these one-hour classes is available online at

The youth confidence classes were first offered in spring 2019 and have been well received, with more than 150 participants registering for the first five classes that focused on topics including critical thinking, dealing with bullies, social cliques, leadership and communication skills.

“Classes are kept to a maximum of 10-15 students to allow the kids to build confidence and interact in a more personal setting,” explained Program Manager David Naydenoff. “The program focuses on building leadership and communication skills through fun and interactive activities, allowing space for kids to explore their creative side in a fun setting.”

“Health and wellness includes more than just physical fitness,” said Superintendent of Recreation Andrea Coates.  “This is an example of a program that is central to our mission to promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.”

Photo caption:

Registration was full for the first class this fall, taught by Lisa Lombardi, “Got Self-Esteem and Leadership,” that was held on September 6 at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center.


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To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities contact
Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at


Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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