Youth Center continues to grow

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City of Middleton Assistant Director for Recreation Rebecca Price and Middleton Youth Center Director Gabrielle Hinahara provided an update on the Youth Center at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, May 21.
Price noted the city has partnered with the District on a number of projects, including an after-school program focused on art at West Middleton and also developing a swimming program that will benefit students who attend the Youth Center in the summer.

The Youth Center is open to MCPASD middle school students every day after school at CSCS except on those days when the District cancels school or calls off after-school activities due to inclement weather. A snack is provide and students can participate in art, cooking, video club and more in addition to getting homework help.

Hinahara reported that volunteers from MHS help students daily. She works 30 hours a week and has an assistant who works 25 hours weekly. There is a full-time AmeriCorps member who helps and provides additional help at Kromrey during the school day. A second AmeriCorps member helps in the summer.

The Youth Center is also open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday for two months in the summer. For the second straight year, the District will help provide busing to children at three locations. A free lunch program is also available for the second straight summer. Lunches are served around 11:30 a.m. at Fireman's Park and recreational opportunities are available until the Youth Center opens.

Participation has increased steadily since the Youth Center re-opened in 2014. On average, the Youth Center now has 45 students per day, which is 29 more than it had in 2014. She also noted there were five days this quarter where attendance was between 55 and 61 students daily.
The Youth Center had 109 unique students attend between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. Of those, 61 attended more than 20 days. Of the students who attended 30 or more days, 66 percent were students of color and 54 percent self-reported their families were low income, while 34 percent didn't answer the question.