DEL NORTE— Summer is on the horizon and High Valley Community Center (HVCC) is eager to open their doors and let the sun shine in. The center has had a busy year with tons of events and fundraisers to help bring new and inventive opportunities to area children. The year began with a new building and equipment and will end with more fun activities and center support through community involvement. The staff and children at HVCC have an epic summer planned and are ready to get on with those long, warm summer days.
First off, the center will be changing hours for their summer program this year. In previous years the center was only open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. three days a week. This year, thanks to successful fundraisers and additional funding from grants, the center will open for three days a week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. allowing more time for activities and field trips. “We will also be able to serve breakfast to the children when they arrive. It will be a great change for us,” said staff member Katherine Trujillo.
According to Trujillo the center has a wide variety of fun educational programs planned for participating children that will begin mid-June. The center closes briefly after area schools let out to prepare for the busy summer ahead. Staff members spend time preparing for the classes and contacting key community members that will be helping with this year’s activities. “We are going to be doing a lot here in Del Norte within walking distance,” explained Trujillo.
This year center students will be participating in community projects like gorilla gardening, which is basically volunteer gardening around town. Students will go around taking care of business flower pots that were placed in memory of local Architect Mark Jones as well as community gardens, like the one near the police station. “We really like the program because it gets the children outside and in their community,” said Trujillo.
In addition to the volunteer gardening, the center will be focusing on teaching their older students the fundamentals of pursuing future employment. The teen program has been used in previous years and has proven to be quite successful. Teens at the center are placed in positions within the facility to perform basic job duties such as front desk, kitchen staff and other positions. “We also teach them how to make resumes and conduct interviews,” explained Trujillo.
The center may be the focus of educational activities, but they are not strangers to having fun from time to time as well. This summer will feature their annual field day trips on Wednesdays that take the students all over the Valley to enjoy local sites. This year, the center has added to the already-long list of places to visit and will be headed to the north towards Creede to venture into the Creede Underground Mining Museum.
In addition to the mining museum, students will also be visiting the Creede Repertory Theatre, Splashland, the sand dunes, alligator farm and much more. A full calendar of activities will be finalized and placed on their website soon. Come out and join the fun at HVCC today.