Years of work pay off in opening of Key Peninsula’s only after-school center

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By David Montesino  Staff Writer ‘The News Tribune’ – Aug 6, 2014
 
 Peter Hedin wondered nearly a decade ago if children would come if the community built a safe place for them to hang out.

Years of building support and a generous donation later, the Red Barn Youth Center opened its doors to parents and children from Peninsula Middle School Tuesday evening to showcase the Key Peninsula’s only after-school facility.

“It is a good feeling,” said Hedin, the soft-spoken president of the youth center board. “At times the process got a bit tedious. But now it’s cool.”

A beaming Olivia Gehrke, 11, agreed wholeheartedly.

“I expected a place with a bunch of teachers,” Gehrke said. “It’s cool. You get to play a bunch of games.”

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Wednesday (Aug. 27), parents and students from Peninsula High School will take their turn, trying out the pool, foosball and table hockey games and taking a tour of a back room that will one day house a basketball court and performance stage.  The youth center officially opens Sept. 3, the first day of school for the Peninsula School District.

 Read more here:   http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/08/26/3348068/years-of-work-pay-off-in-opening.html



Red Barn Shares Banner Night with PHS

The Red Barn Youth Center shared yet another gala evening, this night it was Peninsula High School families.  The weather was perfect and the atmosphere soared to new heights.  The Peninsula School District was once again out in full force in support of such a necessary addition for after-hours programs for teens here on the KP.  The Red Barn will open for the first time September 3rd, 4th and 5th.
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Red Barn Hosts KPMS ‘Open House’

Tuesday night the Red Barn Youth Center hosted KPMS families with an ‘Open House’ event.  They were treated to an amazing night of fun, food, music along with an array of awesome giveaways throughout the evening.  The night concluded with a drawing for the grand prize- a 32″ Vizio flat screen TV!  In preparation for the Grand Opening September 3rd, 4th and 5th; KPMS was the spotlight of the night.
 
Wednesday night the Red Barn will play host to Peninsula High School families for the same wonderful event and drawings for many cool items and, once again, a 32″ Vizio flat screen TV will be given away!  Parents and students are encouraged to come and participate as dinner is on us!  Come see what your teens and our community has in store for the future.  Meet the new ‘Program Directors’ and see just another reason why the Red barn is so special!
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Livable Fair & Red Barn a good match

[Not a valid template]The Red Barn youth center participated at the recent Key Peninsula Livable Community Fair on a beautiful Spring day here in the Pacific Northwest.  There were an amazing array of both indoor and outdoor festivities including a dedication to the new pavilion.  Many learned of the dire need for a youth faulty on the KP as we have few after-hours programs to meet the needs of 6-12 graders.  The Red Barn is a safe place for teens to recreate, socialize, find guidance, develop positive relationships and become community minded citizens.  There is no YMCA or Boys & Girls club here for our teens to participate in healthy activities.

 

 

 

 

Our community needs your support, support of your time and resources so that the Red Barn can open its doors to serve a community in need.  Won’t you help?  You may email Glen Ehrhardt at: windswept.rep@gmail.com to speak about your participation.  You may also give on-line (see home page) as your support matters.

 

Here are a few photos of the event as see through the eyes of the Red Barn!

 



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Red Barn Youth Center is getting packed with kids, volunteers Featured

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Adult volunteers watch a group of students during homework time at the Red Barn. Photo by Ed Johnson, KP News

 

 
Since it opened on Sept. 3, attendance at the Red Barn Youth Center in Key Center has nearly doubled, according to Program Director Jeremy Schintz.

Schintz and Laura Condon share the program director duties at the center, and both were hired in August.

The purpose of the Red Barn is to provide a safe place for kids to hang out after school, Schintz said.

We started out with 10-12 kids every day, now were up to as many as 35 kids. In September we had 374; in October it was 504.

We have a roster with more than 100 kids on it. We have kids that show up every day Monday through Friday. And we get new kids every week, he said.

The kids follow a set routine when they arrive at the center.

Basically when a kid comes through the door, we have them sign in and we have about 30-45 minutes of homework time. We have volunteer mentors and tutors who help them with homework.

Every kid also gets an snack, he added.

We have a cooking class that makes the snacks for the kids. All these kids eat lunch at 10:30, so by the time they get here at 2:30 or 3 oclock theyre pretty hungry. So were giving them the independent skills of cooking and serving one another. Its been working out pretty well, Schintz said.

The cooking program is supported by KP residents, he said. We have people who just show up with food. We have our needs list on our Facebook page. Be sure to look for Red Barn Youth Center on KP, because theres also one in Indiana.

Theres no cost to the kids who come to the Red Barn everything is free, because organization is privately funded and also funded through special friend-raisingevents.

And we hope to keep it that way,Schintz said.

The Red Barn is open every day during the school year from 2:30-6:30 p.m. When school conferences are taking place, the doors open at 12:30.

Schintz and Condon plan to be open a couple days during holiday breaks, as well. Well see how that works,he said.

The organization works closely with Peninsula School District.

PSD has been very supportive. Theyve wanted this program to happen for a long time, especially at the middle school and high school levels,he said

The district has been instrumental in spreading the word that the Red Barn is open, and the school busses stop right at the corner, Schintz said. Parents pick-up their kids for the ride home.

Except for Schintz and Condon, the center is run almost entirely by volunteers –– and they always need more.

Many of the volunteers are retirees, including several retired teachers.

And we even high school students and college kids. Theyre really good at mentoring because sometimes they understand the math better than the retired math teacher does,Schintz said.

The center runs background checks on everyone over age 16 who volunteers, he added.

Theres plenty of room for the center to grow. Theres a large multipurpose room that that will house a basketball court and other activities that is just sitting empty while were waiting for the county to give us our permits to make it happen,Schintz said.

For our private funders to keep supporting us, we still need support every day from the community and we still need more volunteers,he said.

 According to Condon, the Community Service Center, along with the community, have been very responsive in supplying food donations, especially when prompted through Facebook and Red Barn website queries.

“We have been blessed with a giving community and it has been so encouraging with the amount of donations we have received thus far,” she added.

Incoming donations have decreased to where they have had to locate additional sources to fill that void.

Marci Cummings-Cohoe, a local teacher at Vaughn Elementary, suggested placing food bin drops at both Key Center and Lake Kathryn Village to help encourage additional food assistance.

The Red Barn reached out to Kip Bonds, Operations Manager for Stolz N.W. Inc. (Food Market) and were overwhelmed with his willingness to support so many causes in our community. 

“We support our community as a way of saying thank you and giving back to the community that chooses to shop locally and support Key Peninsula businesses,” says Bonds.

For information visit redbarnkp.org or call (253) 884-1514. The Red Barn is located at 15821 84th Street KPN in Lakebay.

Disabled vets and The Red Barn reap benefits from photographer’s lens
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Local photographer Richard Jones poses with his avian buddy and calendar with photos he took from Penrose Point.
Local photographer Richard Jones poses with his avian buddy and calendar with photos he took from Penrose Point. Photo by Karen Lovett, KP News

 

 

 

When Richard Jones looks through his camera lens he likes what he sees on the Key Peninsula.

Jones served in the military starting out in the Marines, but switched later to do a stint in the army. He did a tour of duty as a mechanic in Iraq from 2004-2005 before finishing his military career at Fort Lewis where he met his girlfriend, Jennifer Hoskins.

When Hoskinsmother, Maggie Steiner, a longtime resident of the Key Peninsula decided to relocate to Port Orchard about nine years ago, Jones and Hoskins moved into her former home near Key Center. A sign out front saying Eggs for Sale, greets visitors to the small farm that includes chickens, ducks, a dog and three cats ––including a tabby cat bottle raised by the couple from the time he was one-day-old.

Hoskins a certified nurses assistant and works at Retsil Veterans Home in Port Orchard. When that facility needed to find a home for their African Grey parrot, Hoskins volunteered to take the bird home. The parrot fit right in and quickly became one of self-proclaimed animal lover Jonesbest buddies.

Jones became a full-time student and earned an Associate of Arts Degree and then a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science from the University of Phoenix. He is currently working on another Bachelor degree in Psychology.

Jones has dabbled in photography over the years, but about a year ago he purchased a new camera to professionalize his blossoming hobby. For the time being he is focusing his time around the Key Peninsula.

A lot of people ask me if I go anywhere else,Jones said. Eventually I will, but I love it out here. I love nature. Joemma is a favorite spot, you can turn 180 degrees and have a whole new view.

Last year his company, RJ Photography, sold 30 pictures. Part of the profits went to the Wounded Warrior program to help disabled veterans. This year he sold photographs, mugs and calendars at the Winter Warmup at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn, and Winterfest Arts and Crafts Fair at Peninsula High School. Twenty-five percent of profits will go to the Red Barn this year, he said.
 
To view his art, visit 15-richard-jones.artistwebsites.com.

– The Peninsula Gateway Newspaper –

Red Barn to include after-school programming events

By: Hugh McMillan

For the past three years, just off the Key Peninsula Highway, a hand-painted thermometer has been slowly inching upward to measure financial contributions to cover the costs of a youth center a quarter-mile south of Key Center.

The Red Barn Youth Center held an open house on Feb. 22 to satiate curiosities.

What was once a building devoted to remaking “throwaway” film cameras became home to the headquarters of Communities in Schools of Peninsula. Now, next door, still under development, is the Red Barn Youth Center.

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Youth Center Board member Jo Ann Maxwell said the Red Barn will offer programming during the school year and summer for middle and high school students. It will include a variety of activities, including homework assistance, sports, arts, music and leadership opportunities.

During the open house, guests could see the finished program area as well as the Phase II construction space which may eventually hold a multipurpose area for sports, music and theater.

Peninsula High School sophomore Corey Kreis, delighted with what he saw in the newly renovated facility, said: “With the Red Barn opening, I hope it turns out to be the hangout that all of the teens choose and can be comfortable with and do a variety of activities and feel safe all at the same time. It has a lot of time put into it, and I know it will turn out to be more than what the community will expect.”

The Red Barn Youth Center is a place for teens to connect. It will open this spring thanks to recent grants received from the Franciscan Foundation, Peninsula Light Co. and the Bamford Foundation. It is partnering with other youth-serving organizations and the Peninsula School District to ensure educational success.

Janine Mott, executive director of the Gig Harbor campus of Tacoma Community College, was pleased to announce that the Red Barn has agreed to TCC’s use of its facility for morning adult basic education classes during the spring quarter. The program, from March 31 through June 13, will be is divided into two sections: read/write and math. Students may register for one or both.

It will provide adult basic education or high school completion credits for adults in the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula areas, and it will prepare students who are interested in improving job skills, obtaining high school equivalency — which may include the GED test — or pursing further higher education. It also will offer professional or technical programs, or other college certificates and degrees.

 Registration and orientation will be March 31 and April 1. For more information, call Melody Griggs at 253-460-2354 or email mgriggs@tacomacc.edu.

 “Just going to the open house for the short time I was there, I was more than comfortable with the environment and felt as if I could just hangout and play Xbox and air hockey and so much more,” Kreis said.

 Kreis’ brother, Tyler, a senior at Peninsula High School also has high hopes for the facility.

 “I hope to see the Red Barn become a popular hangout that teens can enjoy with an assortment of activities while also providing a safe environment that will keep kids out of trouble,” Tyler Kreis said.

 The Red Barn is a stop on the Key Peninsula School Bus Connects route. For more information, visit the Key Peninsula Community Council website at www.kpcouncil.org.

 For more information about the Red Barn, email vice president Glen Ehrhardt at windswept.rep@gmail.com.

Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at hmcmnp1000@ centurytel.net.

15921 84th Street NW,  Lakebay, WA  98349  Ph: 253.884.1594  Web: www.RedBarnkp.org
Mailing Address: PO BOX 1032, Vaughn, WA 98394