Youth centre offers haven for kids

Having a safe place to hang out for their kids is something every parent wants and the Ponoka Youth Centre has just the ticket.

Tye Antion enjoys some foosball fun at the Ponoka Youth Centre open house Oct. 17.

Having a safe place to hang out for their kids is something every parent wants and the Ponoka Youth Centre has just the ticket.

The centre hosted its second annual open house Oct. 17 to show parents and youths some of the amenities and programs offered. Executive director Beth Reitz feels they have much to offer. “We just want the community to know that the centre is a safe place for kids and families.”

The goal with many of their programs is to give kids leadership skills and staff are kept busy throughout the week; the only day the centre does not have a program running is Sunday. Friday and Saturday nights from 6 to 10 p.m. youths aged 12 to 17 can come and enjoy the centre’s entertainment: video games, pool tables, foosball tables and a coffee shop and canteen are among the activities available.

Reitz says the centre has zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs and bullying. In the event of the latter, trained staff will address the situation. Staff and volunteers at the centre are given specific training with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.

She welcomes parents to visit the centre to see what is offered. Youth are also welcome to check out the centre and will need parents’ permission after their first visit.