Cimarron Youth Center Opens For Activities
FamilyMeans’ multi-year effort to build a new program space for Cimarron youth finally culminated this spring. As youth walked in the doors on opening day of the Cimarron Youth Center, they immediately felt at home, gravitating to the areas that felt most appealing. They tested the malleability of the bean bag chairs, bathed in the warm light offered by the large window wall, and partnered for conversation in the quiet room.
Input from staff and youth, realized by our architects, interior designers and builders, resulted in a building layout that is working as planned, and interior design that is inviting and functional. The teen and children’s programs (newly renamed Kidspace) have equal and separate spaces. Each program has a large activity area, lounge space and quiet room for reading, conversation or computer access. Our commercial kitchen can now produce freshly prepared foods. Youth welcome fresh fruits and vegetables (and ask for seconds). There is increased space for nutrition and cooking activities.
Simply giving youth more space, and creating varied-purpose areas within that space, has already increased youth participation at Cimarron. On average, 35 children attended the Kidspace program each day over the first month of operation in the new Cimarron Youth Center. During 2014, average daily attendance was 26. Teens are staying longer, often the whole program day, compared to last year.
It has been a satisfying and gratifying effort for FamilyMeans. Wonderful, and sometimes unexpected support from the local and regional community has enabled us to realize this building as planned, and without debt. It is our challenge now to use this space to better meet our goal of enabling youth to learn, thrive, connect and contribute throughout their lives.
Learn more about the new Cimarron Youth Center currently by checking out our Cimarron youth program page, and our Cimarron Youth Center page that tracked the ongoing process of the construction. Thanks to everyone for your support in making this space become a reality.