Kids Life is part of the River of Life Christian Center’s children’s ministry. According to Children’s Pastor, Destiny Leiker, “We provide a fun and exciting atmosphere to help children grow healthy friendships and learn about God’s love. We’re always looking for fresh ideas to reach the kids of our community and give them fun character-building activities. Partnering with the Gloria Theatre allows us to offer this exciting opportunity to the community to come out and enjoy a great movie in a great place with free admission.”
A new bicycle will be raffled off along with several “Movie Fun Packs” that include free tickets, concession vouchers and candy.
The Gloria Theatre is a project of the GrandWorks Foundation whose mission is to reach, restore and revive the community. Staci Weller, GrandWorks CEO, commented that “this partnership with Kids Life is exactly the type of thing our community needs. We hope to see hundreds of children and their parents take advantage of this opportunity. By the way, since it’s a morning movie, we decided it would be cool to offer milk and donuts along with all of our regular concessions.”
More than 100 years of program experience
As the Assistant Director, Judy Richardson oversees the volunteer corps at the youth center and manages the student check-in and check-out process. She works with the other staff members to deliver the programming lineup for UYC and assists the Executive Director with grants, fundraising and the management of the center.
Before joining UYC, Richardson worked at Honda Research & Development for 20 years as a Specialist in the Engineering Dept. overseeing various processes of vehicles such as annual inventory, sales, disposals and tracking. Richardson retired in October of 2020.
“After five months of retirement, I felt there was more to life than just taking it easy,” Richardson explained. “One day I walked into the Urbana Youth Center to volunteer and my whole life woke up with a purpose.”
Already, students have received homework and study assistance, been fed dinner and healthy snacks through the UYC’s nutrition program and had access to fun and safe hangout spaces. In addition, the youth center offers a hygiene program, career readiness program and mentoring opportunities.
Developing, implementing, and monitoring UYC programs based on success, interest and availability are responsibilities of the new Director of Programs, Natalie Frueh.
Frueh studied elementary education and special education at Indiana Wesleyan University before transferring to The Ohio State University to study animal sciences. After graduating from OSU in 2014, she started her role as program director for Marmon Valley Ministries Horse Camp. She was responsible for hiring and training staff, managing programs, planning events and designing marketing materials.
“I have a real passion for serving young people and developing programs that are fun and beneficial for students,” Frueh explained. “My role at the youth center lets me live this passion in an impactful way.”
Frueh isn’t the only person involved in developing programs at the youth center. She has two official program advisors with more than 65 years of combined experience in education. Lance Jackson and Teresa Hill were both teachers in the Urbana City School district for decades and keenly understand the challenges local students face.
“Both Lance and Teresa are former teachers of mine. I know the students at the youth center are incredibly fortunate to have the experience of two of Urbana’s very best educators working on crafting programs for them. Their expertise is a major asset to the youth center and this community,” Weller explained.
Including official advisors and volunteer advisors, the entire program team brings more than a century of combined education and program experience to the table. According to the youth center team, this will be key to deploying an array of new offerings this fall.
“We won’t give too much away right now, but I can tell you that Natalie and our programs team have big plans for this fall to nearly double our existing lineup of programs. You are not going to want to miss everything that’s planned at the Urbana Youth Center this coming school year,” Weller said.
Weller went on to explain the importance of the new team members.
“As I have said before, building bright futures for our youth is no small task. I feel incredibly fortunate to lead a team that is absolutely committed to serving the youth of this community and securing the future of the next generation.”
About Urbana Youth Center
UYC believes that the future of our children impacts our community’s opportunities and success for decades to come. With open hearts and open minds, this community can rally our resources to not only lift kids up but set them on a trajectory for accomplishing amazing things. The youth center serves students in grades six through 12 who attend Urbana City Schools or live in the district.
The GrandWorks Foundation is a local not-for-profit organization leading several efforts to reach, restore, and revive the community. The projects include the historic Gloria Theatre in downtown Urbana, The Big Questions (a podcast exploring some of life’s most pressing topics), and the Urbana Youth Center.
FFA members got the opportunity of the full five days of camp and being split into groups, numbered from 1-12. Camp offered many opportunities for campers this year, from workshops, camp activities, a talent show, group activities and dances on the first and last night. The camp also had different activities and workshops for juniors, seniors and grads. The first morning, before breakfast, campers had the opportunity to plunge into the lake in what we call the Polar Bear Plunge. The campers also had the opportunity of doing a morning walk or run. These events get campers a various amount of points for their team. During camp, teams competed for points from those everyday activities and found out who was the winner at the end of camp week.
The day of arrival, members settled into their dorms, got introduced to other camp chapter members, learned camp rules, and participated in little activities to become more involved with other campers and the State FFA Officers. The day ended with a campfire challenging campers to step out of their comfort zone and change their daily routine a little bit.
The second day included group activities, state officer workshops, and high ropes for seniors and grads. Each day at camp, campers were given about two or three free time periods. In these free time periods, they could participate in archery, going to the shotgun/rifle range, playing cards, and canoeing/kayaking. Ending the day was a campfire and campers reflecting on the things they learned in the workshop and from fellow campers.
The third and fourth day included team building activities, various activities campers signed up for and were interested in. These activities included laser tag, hiking, archery, line dancing lessons, shotgun/rifle range, playing cards, playing ping pong, canoeing and kayaking. Later on in the day, campers participated in water games and State Officers workshops. The day once again ended with a campfire challenging campers to use their strengths to an advantage to try new things and meet new people.
The five days of camp ended with assigned morning cleaning of the camp, rewarding of highest boy and girl challenges, the top five highest camp groups points earned, and appreciation to the FFA Advisors, Camp Staffing, and State Officers. The State Officers also gave shout-outs to specific camp groups or campers. The shout-outs were for the change or impact they had seen on specific groups or campers in the five days attended.
Faith’s favorite part of camp was “participating and learning new things for the first time at the shooting range.” Jason and Travis’ favorite part of camp was “fishing and talking to other campers during free time.” Layne’s favorite part of camp was “having the opportunity to pie our advisor Mr. Wilhelm in the face.” Phoebie’s favorite part was “being able to meet new people, playing laser tag, and participating in high ropes.”
Thursday, July 1, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Chalkboard Craft Ages 18+
Thursdays, July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2021 from 2 pm – 4 pm: Knitting/Crochet Class All Ages.
Fridays, July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2021 from 10 am-7 pm: Coloring for Relaxation Ages 13+
Saturdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2021 from 11 am-2 pm: Anime Club Ages 13+
Monday, July 5, 2021 from 2 pm-3 pm: Generation Next: Marshmallow Shooter Ages 11–18
Tuesdays, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2021 from 11 am – 11:45 am: Juvenile Summer Reading Ages 2–5th Grade
Tuesday, July 6, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Sweet Summer Watermelon Canvas Ages 18+
Wednesdays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2021 from 11 am – 11:45 am: Story Time Ages 2–5
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Euchre Ages 18+
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Lego Club Ages 5–12
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 6 pm-7pm: Quilt Guild. All Ages
Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 11 am – 1 pm: Books & Bridle. Ages 5–18
Monday, July 12, 2021 from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Explorer’s Club Ages 6 (Kindergarten)–5th Grade
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Sand Art. All Ages
Thursday, July 15, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Bingo. All Ages
Monday, July 19, 2021 from 2 pm-3 pm: Generation Next: Etched Glass Bottle Ages 11–18
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Fruit Stamped Tea Towels. Ages 18+
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Paper Beads Jewelry. Ages 18+
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 4 pm-5 pm: Generation What’s Next Ages 11–18.
Thursday, July 22, 2021 from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm: Beach Canvas. Ages 13+.
Monday, July 26, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Book Club Ages 18+.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Flag Trivia. All Ages.
Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 11 am-Noon: Clear Gem Magnets. Ages 18+.
Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 4-6 pm: Mechanicsburg Safety Day. Ages Incoming Kindergarten–1st Grade.
More for Mechanicsburg Public Library
For details on each event and to learn more about what is happening at Mechanicsburg Public Library, click here or call 937-834-2004!