SYCC executive director Debora Brockleman said the youth center has been working on collaborating with the Upshur BOE to add new offerings for high school and middle school-aged students.

Bowling league, volleyball, more tutoring among offerings to sprout from SYCC-BOE collaboration

BUCKHANNON – The Stockert Youth & Community Center plans to offer new programs in partnership with the Upshur County Board of Education.

SYCC director Debora Brockelman updated the SYCC board during their meeting Monday, April 5 about their current and upcoming programs.

“Today, we had study hall because it’s a remote learning day, so we had about 50 kids today, also karate, the Little Ninjas, kickboxing, Zumba – they’re doing really well,” Brockleman said.  “They’ve added a few more members; they’re still not back to what they were before, but they are back.”

She said drill team practices have also resumed, and they are currently preparing for a performance during the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.

“Don [Nestor] and I have been continuing to meet with the Board of Education, collaborating with them on what Stockert can do to help get kids caught up and get them back to a sense of normalcy and get them recovering from the time they lost from school and the time lost from socialization,” Brockelman said.

She said they are hoping to create activities that high-school-aged students will want to partake in.

“We’ve always wanted to reach out to the older youth group, but they’re a hard bunch to get,” Brockleman said. “The most success we’ve had with older kids was with our basketball program, and that reaches a lot of kids. One of the ideas that we’ve had is a volleyball league for high schoolers and middle schoolers, with the upgrade to the volleyball pit, so we’re going to promote that this summer and hopefully, we’ll do our summer basketball again.”

In the fall, they are hoping to arrange a bowling league.

“That was one of the ideas that came out of some of our meetings with the high school – how we could get kids out and about and socializing, having something for them to do, so those are some things that we are wanting to do immediately,” Brockleman said.

SYYC also plans to expand on their tutoring programs by partnering with local teachers.

“Tutoring – that is a big thing right now. Kids need to get caught up, so one of the things that came out of the meeting with the high school and middle school principals is we need to get a tutoring program at SYCC,” Brockleman said. “We currently have one, but it’s a little different from what they envisioned. They wanted to have teachers on board at a site, and kids just come one evening at an event and then we would do it once a week.”

She said every Wednesday for the next month-and-a-half, Stockert will arrange a tutoring night.

“Last week it was at the middle school, so we’re going to start every Wednesday after the 14th until the end of May,” Brockleman explained.

Board member Don Nestor said he thinks the new collaboration with the BOE has been working well.

“Debora and I were talking about how this has been pretty surprising to us and how much attention has come out of us saying, ‘what can Stockert do?’ so it’s going really well, and I think they seem to be really behind it because I think they see the need is out there,” Nestor said.

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