Norris Square Civic Association (NSCA) is a grassroots, community-based development corporation founded in 1982 by a group of community women. These women were committed to developing the human potential of Norris Square residents while restoring and revitalizing the physical and economic aspects of the neighborhood. NSCA's mission is to empower residents to improve their lives by becoming self-reliant, and to unite and build the community through the development and improvement of the physical, economic, social, cultural and educational aspects of the neighborhood.
In 1996, NSCA established the Norris Square Family Center, offering educational and recreational activities to community residents. The Center is located in the McKinley Elementary School and is accessible to residents of Norris Square's southwest quadrant, an area long neglected by city services. The Family Center is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Current program offerings include: early childhood parent training, job development and placement, GED classes for adults, aerobics, and an after school/summer program for 1000 neighborhood children. The children's program is designed to improve reading, mathematics, critical thinking and computer skills. In addition, NSCA is developing a childcare center with a capacity for 200 children. Efforts to establish a home-based child care training program for 60 residents also is a part of their plan. NSCA has developed a Mercado (market) to sell ethnic food items. See their website for more information.