DEL NORTE— High Valley Community Center (HVCC) is in their second month of community outreach programs and according to staff, the program has been better than expected. Over the last month, the center has had the pleasure of welcoming members of the community to teach students about everything from how to make a newspaper to what their own town history is.
Staff members came up with the program last year in an effort to get their students more interested in their community and what they can do to be a larger part of the community in which they live.
This month, the center has already welcomed Amy Henschen from the local 4-H program. Henschen introduced students at the center to the program and what it entails, piquing the interest of the entire class and helping them become interested in the program. 4-H is a farm and ranch-based initiative to gain the interest of the younger generations in what it takes to raise livestock, handle farm and ranch machinery and learn about the ins and outs of basic farming and ranching.
Next, the center will welcome Dianne Koshak, who has visited the center in the past to teach her wellness and health program. Each time Koshak visits the center she has something new to teach students about staying healthy and not spreading germs. Last year her program was based on the proper way to wash hands in order to stop colds and the flu from spreading through the schools and overall community. According to center staff, they never know what Koshak has in store for the children at the center, but that it is always be educational and fun.
In addition to the community outreach program, the center has been busy working with other organizations throughout the community of Del Norte. The students have been making gifts for patients at the Rio Grande Hospital and delivering them once a month. Now that the new River Valley Inn nursing home is open, center staff have been working with the home to plan activities for the students to interact with guests. Last month, center students took an afternoon to play bingo with residents of the home. This month the center is planning on making Halloween themed centerpieces with students and residents at the home.
Students are also learning about a different country every month by tasting local food, making crafts and learning about the region in their afterschool program. “One of our activities every month is to travel to a new country by eating cultural food, reviewing a little history, making a cultural item and watching videos about that place. For the month of October, we are traveling to Mexico,” said Program Coordinator Kathryn Trujillo.
The center has been busy, but never busy enough to add one more monthly program to their growing list and that is a parent and family night held once a month at the center. “HVCC is having family nights once a month and thought it would be great to spread the word! Every month we let HVCC kids know to invite their parents/guardians to have dinner with them, and we celebrate the HVCC students’ birthdays for the month. Sept. 28 was our first family night and our scheduled one for October is Thursday the 26th,” finished Trujillo.
The center is in the process of planning for November’s outreach programs and is currently looking for members of the surrounding community to come and volunteer. According to Trujillo, the theme for the month is Native American culture and history. To volunteer, please call Trujillo at 657-2172. For a full list of activities, visit www.highvalleycommunity.org and click on the calendar icon.