By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— Kathryn Trujillo with the High Valley Community Center as well as Director Adriene Atencio and other staff welcomed students back to the High Valley Community Center last week after a short break. “It was really great to have some time off before diving back in, but we are happy to be back and have the students start the after-school program again,” said Trujillo.
School started on Aug. 20, but students did not return to the center until Sept. 4. “We have a great year planned for the students and are starting off with trips to the Hooper pool every Friday from now until just before Thanksgiving. The students get swimming lessons for the first part of the day and then we let them have plenty of time to just play. This year we are able to offer lunches to the students as well as breakfast and snacks on Friday,” explained Trujillo.
The center is also planning on visiting with the nursing home throughout the entire year and are working out details with River Valley Inn staff. “We really want to integrate the nursing home into our program and have the students visit at least once a month. So far, we are trying to plan game nights, craft projects, maybe a painting activity and even reading time. We know the residents really enjoy when the students come to visit and it’s good for our students as well.”
Trujillo also stated that the center will be doing their outreach program with several community members. “The students and community really benefit from the outreach education program, so we will be doing that again this year and need people from the community to sign up. If someone has a trade skill or something they can share with the students, they can call the center or stop in to sign up. So far, we have several people signed up for the beginning of the year, but we can always use more,” said Trujillo.
The center also focuses on quiet time after school and allows time for working on homework. “We have our teens doing the work program at the center. They get paid to come in and mentor at the center, answering calls, helping with younger students and other activities. We have decided that one student will be our social media specialist and help with keeping our social accounts like Facebook and Twitter up to date and current with pictures. It’s a great way for the students to continue their life skills education.”
The center is also helping plan for coming events with the chamber like the annual Scarecrow Bash that will open up for registration on Oct. 1. Those who want to participate this year can sign up on the chamber website at www.delnortechamber.org.
The center will also be participating in the annual October Fest that will take place on Sept. 21. “We are helping make this a family event and will be serving food and may have some activities available for people to enjoy, but at the very least the playground and basketball hoops behind the center will be open for families to come enjoy,” said Trujillo.
The school year in Del Norte is off to a great start. To register at the High Valley Community Center or for a full list of scheduled events, please visit www.highvalleycommunity.org.