Cherryville and Lumby children have a place to call their own.
The after-school programs at Kids Zone in Cherryville and Kids Space in Lumby are extremely popular with the youth and their parents.
“The programs provide a great opportunity for after school fun for those children who have working parents or live out of town and may not be close to a neighbour for after school play,” said Gay Jewitt, with the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre, which is responsible for both outreach initiatives.
‘The program’s goals also include providing the opportunity to improve academic performance while practising good social skills.”
The programs are based at the elementary schools so no additional transportation is needed.
Activities range from sports and reading to crafts and quiet time.
Community volunteers also bring their expertise to share with the children.
“While the programs attract children for a variety of reasons, staff are equipped to provide special support for vulnerable children who may be facing physical or social challenges,” said Jewitt.
“In co-operation with agencies such as the North Okanagan Neurological Association, they have created care plans, designed to target risks and triggers from behaviour issues and implemented proactive behaviour management plans.”
Support is provided by Whitevalley Community Resource Centre counsellors who may lead skill building groups.
In 2012, 53 children attended Kids Space and 40 children took part in Kids Zone.
The Whitevalley Community Resource Centre is currently in the midst of its Legacy Fund campaign, which wants to raise $800,000 over five years.
The principle will remain in an endowment fund and the interest generated each year will help cover operational expenses at the centre.
“The Legacy Fund project will help ensure worthy programs continue to run for the benefit of the whole community,” said Jewitt.
For more information about the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre’s Legacy Fund you can check out www.whitevalley.ca or call 250-547-8866.