SYCC provides vital youth services to the community


BUCKHANNON — Stockert Youth and Community Center is alive with daily activities.  The afterschool program for children ages 5-12 is at capacity every day.  They provide a snack, homework help, clubs and there is even a tutoring program.  There are counselors assigned to guide educational fun and the children get to enjoy the outdoor playground and courts when weather permits.

April Small is the afterschool program coordinator and camp director at SYCC. She said there are no income guidelines for the program, which runs Monday through Thursday during the school year.  The afterschool program only costs $15 per week, regardless of how many days the child attends.  Tutoring services only cost $30 per semester. 

SYCC will begin accepting applications for Camp Buccaneer at the beginning of April.  The summer camp begins in June and runs through the beginning of August.  Children can be dropped off at 7 a.m. and must be picked up by 5:30 p.m.  Breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided daily.  This program has an abundance of activities, including taking the group by bus to the pool three days per week and on field trips the other two days. 

All of the staff is trained and subjected to background screening, according to Small.  They are also first aid and CPR certified, so your children are in good hands at Camp Buccaneer.  Small says parents can rest assured that every child will undergo a swimming test on the first pool trip to assess their ability and they must wear color-coded wrist bands to designate their permitted pool areas.  In addition to lifeguards, two staff are posted at every area of the pool at all times.  Children are even escorted to the restrooms, so they are very well supervised.

Camp Buccaneer only costs $20 per day and there are discounts for additional children.  There are only 60 spots available and it is first come, first served, so get your application submitted early.  Small cautions that there is always a waiting list and it gets longer every year as more people become aware of all the activities provided.  SYCC is a non-profit organization that receives grant funding, but they are mostly self-sufficient. 

If you didn’t know, fundraising is underway to build a new gymnasium for SYCC.  Everything inside the building will remain, so the new construction will be a much-needed addition, not a replacement. There are over 300 children that participate in their basketball league, so gym time is hard to come by.  Small stated, “We need a new gym for so many reasons, not just for Stockert, but for the community because a lot of people come here to use our facility.  When we get a new gym, we will be more than willing to help out other sports in town because we are here to help each other.  I think that’s very important.” 

There will be a kid’s movie night on the blow-up screen in the gym with popcorn and a drink for $2 on Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m.  They will also be having an elimination dinner soon to fundraise for the new gym.  Please contact SYCC at 304-473-0145 if you’d like to make a contribution to help build their new facility.

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