The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Salvation Army offers after school and summer programs for youth

Kiwanis Club of Tehachapi


Nick Smirnoff (NPPA)

Salvation Army Field Representative Sandy Chavez, is very proud of Kyle Yates and Luke Thompson, workers at the community center.

An after school program provided by the Salvation Army was explained to Kiwanis members by Kyle Yates, Community Center Coordinator and Luke Thompson, Youth worker The pair described a place where students from grades 6th through 12th may gather after school between noon and 5:30 p.m. It is located at the corner of Tehachapi Blvd. and Snyder Ave. There are 25-30 students who come each day to do homework, take a class in sewing, learn to play the guitar, or play games.

The staff makes each student feel welcome and loved. Respect for themselves and others is something Yates and Thompson strive to instill in the youth. Students are encouraged to manage their time wisely at the center by choosing homework before play. Students are constantly supervised to ensure a secure environment.

The service is a free program, but relies on community support. For $20 per month a child can be provided with one snack and beverage a day, so cash donations are always welcomed. Volunteers are needed to help with maintenance and other activities. It was pointed out that 5 members of Kiwanis volunteer or work at Salvation Army.

The program will continue even after school is out for the summer. An added attraction will be field trips to Edwards Air Force Base and several museums in Los Angeles. Students will be exposed to new ideas and encouraged to develop interests and skills.

Yates was enthused about the summer camp program which takes place in Santa Cruz. He said applications are now being accepted for students between 8 and 18. Younger ones attend a camp where there are activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, music, and exploring nature. Older campers will have a 5 day backpacking adventure on mountain trails.

Sandy Chavez, Salvation Army Field Representative, praised Luke Thompson and Kyle Yates for doing an outstanding job at the center. She said that of the 12 centers she supervises, Tehachapi is the best. She praised the entire community for their spirit of giving and caring for others.

Kiwanis is dedicated to improving the lives of children. They will meet each Wednesday in July at noon at Big Papa's. Call (661) 822-5379 for more information.


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