Clearview Youth Centre expands reach
A council decision to bring the Clearview Youth Centre directly under the banner of the municipality has prompted a reboot of the Stayner facility.
A grand re-opening was held this month to mark the changes, which include the youth centre coming under the township’s Parks, Culture and Recreation Department, the hiring of a new coordinator Courtney Rogers and a part-time assistant Felicia Wells.
Rogers, a Springwater resident, in June finished a contract position as recreation and special events coordinator for that municipality.
A new coat of bright coloured paint and a revamped event calendar are the other notable changes.
Rogers recently conducted a community survey asking youth and parents what they would like to do at the youth centre. She said she was surprised to see that a lot of them want to learn how to cook and bake. So, every Wednesday there will be a cooking program called You’re the Chef, when youth make a meal and then sit down together to eat a family style dinner, something Rogers said not everyone gets at home.
She said the centre is gearing up for September, when they get the after school crowd. There will be jam sessions, healthy snacks, craft sessions, no-bake Fridays, and drop-in times for different age groups. There will also be monthly outings, starting with a trip to Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland on Oct. 19.
The youth centre is working with community partners to offer specific programs such as resume writing with TRACKS Employment Services and chat sessions with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Rogers said several parents specifically asked that the centre add some LGBTQ+ programming so she reached out to the Gilbert Centre to help create GLOW Club – a social safe place for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, which is in the development stages.
Rogers said she welcomes that type of input from the community. If someone feels there is something missing from the youth centre or if there is a community member with a special interest, she invites them to get in touch.
Rogers said she is working on a two-year strategic plan for the centre, which includes reaching out to the four corners of Clearview.
“I’m a big dreamer,” said Rogers. “I see it growing into a lot of youth programming for all of Clearview. These youth are the leaders of the future and we hope to play a small part in helping them succeed.”
Next month, starting in Nottawa there will be a pilot satellite program two Mondays per month, with the hope of eventually extending programs to New Lowell and Creemore.
“We hope people will utilize the service to show that we need to extend programs,” said Rogers.
They are also hoping to utilize a new Parks, Culture and Recreation Department passenger van to develop a transportation plan.
Having grown up in the rural community of Wyevale, Rogers said she understands the transportation barrier the youth face. She said if her parents weren’t available to drive her to an activity, she wasn’t able to go.
“We want to make an effort to get the students who can’t get there,” said Rogers.
The youth centre, located at 7458 Highway 26 in Stayner, is open Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is open to youth 12-18, with a special drop-in time for 11-year-olds the first Tuesday of each month.