Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fair week!!

Welcome to all of our new visitors who found our URL on the brochures we're distributing at the Albion Area Fair this week! I hope you'll find our temporary site (the blog) easy to navigate and full of useful information. We hope to have a permanent site up shortly.

The Center is closed this week due to the fair. The activity bus will not pick up from The Center again until Monday. If you've left a backpack/purse/jacket at The Center and need to get it this week, call 756-5087 and leave a number to call you back at - I will be checking the machine daily.

Speaking of the fair.....We're once again sponsoring KIDS' GAMES @ THE ALBION FAIR 6-7pm! The publication on-site has the hours wrong, but we've put up signs and are having announcements made. Hope to see you there! If you're in middle or high school and would like to help out, be at the tennis courts by 5:45.

NEXT WEEK - We resume our School-year hours. We delayed these until after the fair this year and had a successful first few weeks. Due to the increase in the amount of students we get per day, we will once again be splitting nights between middle and high school students, except for Fridays.

NEW HOURS (effective Monday, Sept. 21):
Monday - HIGH SCHOOL - 2:30-6pm
Tuesday - MIDDLE SCHOOL - 2:30-6pm
Wednesday - HIGH SCHOOL - 2:30-7pm - Journey pick-up begins Sept. 23
Thursday - MIDDLE SCHOOL - 2:30-7pm - Light Force pick-up begins Sept. 24
Friday - COMBINED - 2:30-6pm

Please make sure you are only coming on days scheduled for your age group. We will not be allowing high school students on middle school nights (with the exception of the youth council volunteers), and middle school students will not be allowed in on high school nights. We will not be issuing activity bus passes for students who are not in our permitted age group for that night.

Just a quick reminder: If you are riding the activity bus, you MUST be at The Center by 4:30pm. Students who arrive at 5 or 5:30 expecting to catch the bus will not be issued bus passes. The activity bus pick-up is ONLY for students who are participating in Center activities.

See you Monday (high schoolers) and Tuesday (middle schoolers)!!

If you see me at the fair, feel free to say hi!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Youth Council Starts Today!!!

ATTN: Students in grades 6-12!

Tonight will be our first informational meeting for the 2009-2010 Youth Council. We will start at 6pm and will end between 6:30 and 6:45. If you are unable to make the meeting, but would still like to be involved, please see Julie for an application and important information.

We need your help to make The Center your place.

See you this afternoon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School!

Yesterday - Wednesday, August 26 - was the first day back for the students at Northwestern! As the students came in yesterday, they filled out new registration forms for the 09-10 school year. These forms provide important contact information, verify that the students are within our school district, and list the rules of the center and consequences for breaking the rules so students understand our expectations of them. On our first school day of the year, we had 35 students! This is a major improvement over our numbers when we opened last year! Students were invited to join Julie at The Center to help celebrate her birthday with ice cream and cookies.

As we start the new year, we are also starting some new projects at The Center. This year will be the first year for our Youth Council, and we welcome any student interested in participating should plan to attend the informational meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Students involved in the Youth Council will work on fundraising and programming ideas, and will be a voice for the other students at The Center to provide input and new ideas.

We are also working towards having a Camera Club. Our grant bought us a few digital cameras and memory cards, and students are welcome to bring their own. We will be going over the basics of photography and editing, and taking some trips around town to explore and take pictures. Look for more information after the Fair!

This fall also kicks off many opportunities for Community Service! Do you need community service hours for a scholarship or National Honor Society? Do you have required Community Service hours? Do you want to show leadership skills and character on a job application or college resume? Need a reference? The Youth Center is looking into multiple community service options available to teens and already have several opportunities lined up. Interested in helping your community? Contact Julie for details!

Construction Update!! Work on our new bathroom is nearly complete, and the kitchen isn't far behind! The office just needs some staining and lighting fixtures and it will be done as well! Our basketball court is still in the works - we need to get our backboard and hoop mounted, and get the new lights hung before we can play in there! It should be done soon, though...hang in there!

Need a Ride? Students who live outside of walking distance from the school and youth center can now ride the Activity Bus home from The Center. This service will ONLY be for students who attend the Middle or High School and who have been at The Center for the afternoon - you will not be permitted to ride if you only come to The Center to catch the bus. This service will start Monday, Aug. 31. The busses will pick up from The Center at 5:30. You will need a note from Julie to ride the Activity Bus, so contact her for details.


Aug 28 - Football Scrimmage @ Northwestern (v. Oil City) - 6:00pm
Aug 29 - Spirit Night and Dance - 6:30pm
Aug 31 - Activity Bus route starts from Youth Center - 5:30pm
Sept 1 - Youth Council informational meeting - 6pm @ The Center
Sept 15-19 - Albion Area Fair - Center will be closed this week for kids' games at the Fair!
Sept 19 - Albion Fair Parade! If you want to be on our float, contact Julie!
Sept 21 - FALL HOURS RESUME (See Julie if you have questions - hours will be posted)
Sept 23 - JOURNEY RESUMES at Federated Church. Pickup @ The Center ~6:30pm
Sept 24 - LIGHT FORCE RESUMES @ Federated Church. Pickup @ Center ~6:30pm

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer Park Program and Construction update!

As many of you already know, one of our dedicated board members, Connie Lance, passed away on July 13, the first day of our Summer Park Program. She was the driving force behind the Nature programming at the Summer park Program, and she was passionate about the area's youth. Our board (and our Youth Center) won't be the same without her.

The Coach Lisek Summer Park Program at the Albion Borough Park lasted from July 13-24. Overall, we'd passed out 600 copies of our Park Program flyer at the Northwestern and Springfield Elementary Schools. I'm excited to report that we had 128 individual students attend the 2009 Park Program (just over 1/5th of our elementary schoolers)! We had mostly nice weather, with a few scattered rainstorms. The threat of rain and storms kept a few kids home, but most days we had 50+ students. The students enjoyed craft activities, reading and math lessons, nature exhibits, a snack and a ride on the carousel, and sports. On the students survey, they reported that they particularly enjoyed building (arts & crafts) and racing (math) their boats - and watching the teen volunteers splash around in the creek! Students also reported enjoying the snake that the McDuff's brought, fish that Mr. Wolfe brought, and the goats that Ms. Murkens taught us about during Nature. They also reported that they enjoyed Mr. Kirsh and Ms. Vanicek's 'Song and Dance Man' Thursday afternoon reading extravaganza! In sports, they reported enjoying everything from frisbee, duck duck goose, red rover, dodgeball, kickball and "beating up on (teen volunteer) Joe."

The adults had a picnic to discuss how everything went with the Park Program last Thursday, and on Wednesday of this week the teen volunteers will meet at the Youth Center at 6pm to review and report their time with the students.

Construction continues at the Youth Center! Byron and his crew have worked hard, and thanks to them our basketball court, office, bathroom and kitchen are nearly complete. We hope to have the half-court open when we return to fall hours after the Albion Area Fair.

Aug 22 - August Elementary Day, 11am-1pm. Students entering K-5
Sept 15-19 - Albion Area Fair - Center will be closed this week for kids' games at the Fair!
Sept 21 - FALL HOURS RESUME (See Julie if you have questions - hours will be posted)
Sept 23 - JOURNEY RESUMES at Federated Church. Pickup @ The Center ~6:30pm
Sept 24 - LIGHT FORCE RESUMES @ Federated Church. Pickup @ Center ~6:30pm

See ya @ The Center!

Friday, July 10, 2009

THE CENTER IS CLOSED (temporarily!)!

Effective end of the day today (Friday, 7/10) the Northwestern Community Youth Center will be closed due to construction and the Summer Park Program.

We will resume our regular summer hours for Middle and High School students on Monday, 7/27.

If you normally come to The Center in the afternoons (or even if you don't!) and would like to volunteer, shoot Julie an e-mail at or message her on myspace.

Need community service hours? Want to be a role model for a younger student? Just can't get enough spending time with Julie? Come volunteer :) Someone has to do it so you guys can be at The Center - pay it forward!

The Center Under Construction!!

As promised, an update on our construction - - -

Thanks to a grant from the Erie Community Foundation, we are in the midst of the wonderful choas and confusion of a remodeling project! As of last week, we have our building permit displayed and have started work on our plans.

When we are done, we will have an office to store the server computer, administrative paperwork, and other office equipment. This will free up some much-needed space in the front of the youth center. At least part of that space will likely become a bike rack/backpack-storage area for our teenage crowd as more than once our entryway has turned into a bicycle parking lot!

The new office!!!

We are also in the process of building in a new handicapped bathroom, and remodeling the kitchen and other bathroom. We will finally have running water going to the kitchen! The kids are excited about the prospect of having ice in their drinks.

Remodeling the kitchen and adding a bathroom!

We are also in the process of remodeling the old workshop (the youth center building used to be an old hardware store) into a half-court basketball court/gym. We will likely be moving our exercise equipment out there for use on days when we have a volunteer to run the gym area. The kids (and I!) are waiting anxiously for the basketball court to open, and we are hoping it will be ready before the cold weather of the infamous Erie winters moves in!

Basketball court/gym under construction!

A special thanks to Byron Gurnee and his great team of workers who are helping us with the construction on this project! We couldn't do it without you (at least, I'm sure *I* couldn't do it without you!). Also, thanks to Mr. Freeman for the metal bars on the windows to make sure our basketballs stay *inside* the basketball court!

Next up, an update on our summer park program!! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Welcome to the Northwestern Community Youth Center blog! I will attempt to keep this as up-to-date as possible, and post information on new events and updates on what is happening inside The Center! Later today, I'll post information on our Summer Park Program and the renovations taking place inside our building.

First though, I'd like to introduce myself to those of you who haven't had the opportunity to meet me. My name is Julie, and I was hired as Director last October (2008). I grew up in East Springfield and attended schools in the Northwestern School District from K-12, graduating in 2001. Following graduation, I enrolled at Otterbein College in Westerville, OH. In 2006 I graduated with a BA in Religion with a minor in Sociology. I moved back home in 2008 to take this position and am thrilled to have (in my opinion) the best job ever!

I would also like to take this first opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported me, and the youth center as a whole. To our amazing board of directors: Thank you for your faith in me, this program, and our area's youth. To the Northwestern School District, our local churches, and our individual donors: Thank you for your continued support and your dedication to meeting the needs of these kids. To our snack ladies (and gents!): Your unselfish example has really impacted a number of our students, as have your wonderful baked goods! We all truly appreciate the effort you put into your work. And finally, to my dedicated volunteers: Thank you for the hours of patience, hard work and dedication to these kids. We couldn't do it without you!

Up next: Summer Park Program and renovation information!