Do you know what your kids are doing on a Friday night?
For Sunshine Coast Youth aged 13 to 18, Nights Alive provides a safe alternative to the stereotypical Friday night street scene.
Currently in its sixth year of operation, the program happens every Friday (starting tonight, Jan. 21, and concluding June 24) between 7 and 10:30 p.m. at Roberts Creek Community School. The program attracts an average of 30 to 40 youth on a Friday night. Nights Alive is a supervised youth recreation program that prides itself on developing healthy relationships with those who come to participate.
"We don't talk down to the kids. We ask them what they want to do and help them initiate their own healthy activities," said staff member Chloë Ziner. There sure are a lot of things happening on site, some of which include: the use of the gym and equipment, a free hot healthy meal, an information table, foosball, videos, spontaneous musical jams, arts and crafting and always a safe space to just chill out. From time to time, local RCMP officers drop by to shoot some hoops and check out the scene.
Long-time, core youth participants design and create a monthly newspaper called The Loud Voice. Others have initiated the creation of a website. Check it out at www.theloudvoice.tk. "Everyone who is present comes together to discuss what is best for all involved. Staff and kids alike try to uphold an atmosphere of mutual respect," said coordinator Jessica Gabriel. "When kids are trusted with the freedom and the space to design their program, they own it."
In the near future, Nights Alive staff and sponsors hope to involve parents and community members in a productive dialogue with the intention of creating a safe, respectful environment for all in the heart of Roberts Creek on a Friday night.
Volunteers are always welcome!
The Nights Alive program sponsors are the Roberts Creek Community School and the Sunshine Coast Regional District. For more information call 604-885-3481.