Youth center to open in Lincoln County
RICHFIELD, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — While there are many things to do in Lincoln County government officials have noticed a lack of after-school and summer activities for K-12 students, as well as a lack of childcare options for pre-K children.
“Lincoln County doesn’t have any after-school programs,” says county commissioner Rebecca Wood “We’re really short of youth activities all around. There’s just not a lot for kids to do here.”
The results of this haven’t been positive-limited childcare has put a strain on local parents, and lack of activities has left local high schools with poor continuation rates. The county government, including Wood, hopes to change this with a new youth center that will open on August 20.
“Primarily we want to see the kids raise their test scores,” says Wood “We want to see them set goals, and learn a lot about what they might want to do in life. If you want to learn how to fix bikes you can learn here. If you want to learn how to fix motors, you can learn here. If you want to be a biologist, you can learn here-the goal is to be able to teach the kids anything they want here.”
The center will take on a STEAM-or science, technology, engineering, arts, and math approach to learning. Wood says she got the idea by driving by an abandoned building every day.
“This building sat empty for about 6 years, and as I drove by it every day, it occurred to me that we really should put it to use. from there, I called some great people who were willing to jump on board, and we started work on it.”
One of those people who helped out was Tom Behm at Idaho Power. With his help, the company donated money and worked to fit the building with energy-efficient lighting, as well as a brand new roof.
“As a small community we recognize there’s a lot of needs out there that are a lot harder in small communities,” says Behm.
The center will offer free after-school and summer programs for K-12 students, as well as pre-School for $11 per day for 3-4 year-olds. Wood says the federal grant money will allow services to be free. She hopes to attain a pre-school grant at the beginning of 2022 to allow pre-school services to be free as well.
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