BANDON — The Bandon Community Youth Center has received year three of funding from the Oregon Community Foundation's K-12 Student Success Initiative.

This funding allows BCYC to continue the HLMS After Hours programs, expand program offerings and provides continuous staff development and partnerships with The Ford Foundation, Education Northwest and The Institute of Youth Success.

"These partnerships provide the opportunity to collaborate with other after school organizations throughout Oregon, working with a program assessment and feedback tool for performance improvement and continuous growth of quality after school programs," said BCYC Program Director Charissa Stokes.

These resources have also allowed BCYC to hire staff and create a database for future program development and funding. HLMS After Hours currently includes the flagship Math Mentors program open four days per week to any student who may benefit from guidance on math homework or understanding math concepts. Angela Young, program coordinator and Harbor Lights Middle School teaching assistant, works with students on current curriculum.

CultureClub meets every Thursday in The Pod located on the HLMS campus. Darcy Grehek facilitates of this youth-led club, inspiring members to create an expression of a story about the place in which we live, told through the arts. Performance and various mediums will tell a specific story developed by students and information and inspiration is derived through history research, observations of the natural world and through old stories. CultureClub members have the opportunity to collaborate with local artists on community projects.

The News and Media Club meets Mondays and Wednesdays at HLMS to produce a biweekly flyer, The Panther Post, assist with BCYC social media and produce their own blog site, Blanther Blogndon. Crystal Mauro, N&M Club Coordinator creates a fun club atmosphere for students to collaborate and be creative.

The Bandon Community Youth Center also offers the Tiger Clubs program at the BCYC location at 101 11th Street SE in Bandon, that are available Monday through Friday after school until 5:30 p.m. for students in grades K-5 with flexible scheduling and a cost of just $5 a day. Staff includes Kay Tamalonis, who works for the Bandon School District as a special education assistant and joined BCYC as the summer program coordinator, and Dakotah Epps, who is creative and artistic.

"Both are incredible role models and a huge asset to our team," said Stokes. "Staff encourage students to work on homework, also promoting recreation time and guided discovery activities with weekly STEAM focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics including weekly art projects, science experiments, engineering competitions and robotics. Members are entertained and active during a time when other after school supervision may not be available." Pre-registration for this program is required.

With growth comes additional needs.

"With our year-end funding campaign underway, BCYC seeks community support for necessary building maintenance and equipment as well as for the grades K-5 Tiger Club that is currently not grant supported," Stokes said. "Additional work tables and chairs are needed to accommodate increased attendance. The BCYC structure was built 21 years ago with generous community support and donated materials. Two years ago a new roof was installed at cost with help from Bandon Supply, but there are now other immediate needs including restroom stall and plumbing repairs, siding replacement, flooring repairs/replacement, and outdoor basketball area improvements."

Russell Shaping and Excavating donated major gorse removal just over one year ago. However, additional abatement or eradication is needed for removal from the lawn as it inhibits outdoor activities, Stokes added.

The Bandon Community Youth Center mission is “To provide youth and families with opportunities to learn, grow and experience success." For more information, to volunteer, or to donate visit their website at www.byo.bandonyouth.org, Facebook page, email Stokes at bandonyouth@gmail.org, or call 541-347-8336. Mailing address is Bandon Community Youth Center, P.O. Box 495, Bandon, OR 97411.

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