Mattie Rhodes Center starts summer youth programming

Daisy Garcia Montoya
Editorial Assistant

Summer youth programming will be offered at Mattie Rhodes Center (MRC) as local government health guidelines due to COVID-19 begin to lift.

With businesses now being subject to a 50% occupancy limit, as opposed to the 10/10% occupancy limit previously placed, the capacity increase allows the planning of summer programs to take place.

Four youth programs will run this summer, with only one taking place at the physical MRC building. In all four programs, participants, staff and instructors will be expected to wear masks at all times and adhere to social distancing rules.

Since the initial outbreak in March, MRC stopped afterschool programs to focus on other ways to help the community, such as offering food and utility bill assistance. Still, the need in the community for youth programs persisted.

“We know a lot of families need places for kids to go, but we also want to be careful not to jeopardize anybody’s health or safety by opening up the building to hundreds of kids,” MRC CEO John Fierro said.

John Fierro said that having a greater occupancy would allow MRC to increase programs and serve more children.

Youth Development Coordinator Alea Surrender said safety measures, such as taking temperatures, will be in place to ensure the health and well-being of participants.

“We’re doing the best we can to make sure everything is safe for everyone,” Surrender said. “We will still have a fun summer, but it’s going to look a little different.”

The four programs will start during the second week of July, with some under a limited capacity to ensure social distancing is followed.

Signature summer camp program, Camp Wham, will take place at the MRC office located at 148 N. Topping Ave., and will run from July 6 through Aug. 7. Parents can register participants for one week or all five.

Soccer for Success will be back virtually this summer via Zoom for the time being. Participants must fill out a registration form and will receive a t-shirt and shin guards upon completion.

Club KC will be held every Friday from July 10 to Aug. 21 at the Garrison Community Center located at 1124 E 5th Street. Youth ages 11 to 18 are invited to come and enjoy a live DJ, games and sports activities.

A new program called Marathon Club will be offered at Budd Park for all ages. This hour-long program will be held every Tuesday and Thursday starting July 7 through Aug. 20 to encourage healthy habits, such as walking and jogging. Community residents that participate will have the chance to win prizes, as well.

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