A Giving Season at the Red Barn

If you passed by the Red Barn this past Saturday evening you may have the hint of Christmas caroler’s.   If you did, it is because the Red Barn was honoring the many wonderful and amazing Red Barn volunteers that are so loving and caring for our teen here on the KP.  They give freely of their time, talents and sometimes patience as they help foster the next generation of youth. “The Red Barn simply would not exist without them”, says Laura Condon, Program Director.

 Laura, along with the Red Barn board of directors, prepared and served a feast to be savored by all. Laura went around the room sharing stories and history of each volunteer, enlightening us with powerful testimonies of a richness found in only those that give of themselves.  It was anything but a ‘Silent Night’ as we had a surprise visit from Frank & Colleen Slater along with Dorene Paterson and Julie Ernesti. This Caroling Quartet literally set the tone for the evening as both young and not so young relished the spirit of the season.

 “We are in need of additional volunteers to help service the Red Barn to help maintain the level and integrity of mentorship we are currently receiving”, says Laura. Please contact us and see why giving is so rewarding, no matter the season: (253) 884-1594

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Greg’s Art Teaches Air-Brush Painting

Yep, just another day at the Red Barn- Food, kids, games, fun, excitement!  Oh yea… a day filled with a special visit from Greg sharing his magical talent of airbrush painting.  Greg shared his wonderful gift with teens eager to understand and learn more about this unique talent so freely shared!
Life at the ‘The Barn’ continues to grow in foundation as our teens are served healthy snacks, offered help with homework, sharing in a wide array of games and are mentored by the most loving and caring volunteers- “The volunteers are the heart and sole oh this outreach and so valued and appreciated by all”, says one of our program directors Laura Condon.  “Seeing these kids in a joyful place, secure and happy makes my job all worth while”!
“We are pleased with the level of attendance and the general feel of our newly opened youth center”, say Jeremy Schintz, our other program director.   “We learn more everyday of how to better serve and fit the needs of our teens here on the KP, and what an awesome responsibility and opportunity for us to serve the community for something so sorely needed”, Schintz adds.
If you would like to consider volunteering please call (253) 884-1954 and speak directly with Laura or Jeremy, see where you can plug-in and help make a difference.  Life at the ‘The Barn’ is good, come and see for yourself!
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Red Barn Hosts Altrusa International

Nancy Hohenstein, Pat Jones and Jan Rinker share a visit and tour with Laura Condon and Glen Ehrhardt of the newly opened Red Barn Youth Center. The vision for Altrusa International District, Twelve is to be a leader among International organizations, improving communities worldwide through a membership network.

Their mission is to provide support to clubs and the International organization by encouraging service, stimulating growth, communicating information, and promoting leadership to Clubs and members.  We look forward to many future years of supporting our youth here on the Key Peninsula.
How fortunate we are to have such wonderful support for our Red barn effort as well as the Key Peninsula and surrounding community.  This is a power-punched group and they are a wonderful asset- Thank you team Altrusa!
Altrusa group
Our kinds crafted several renditions of the colorful Red Barn through their artistic eyes.  The Red Ban had now been open now for its first full month, so Happy Anniversary to us! We still seek volunteers to help mentor and lead with our young teens, it is so rewarding. If you have the time please donate it will you? The Red Barn needs you.
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‘What OPEN Look Like’

Greetings! As a current member of the board of director with the Red Barn Association, I can’t begin to articulate with you the pure joy of witnessing youth at the Red Barn settle into their very own youth center.  It is truly all about the kids- a healthy and encouraging environment with loving and nurturing program directors combined with amazing volunteer staff of mentors that create this atmosphere uniquely suited for our Key Peninsula.

 Due to an injury I have not been able to visit the Red Barn since opening. However, this past Friday I was able to savor my first ‘real experience to comprehend first hand what ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’ looks like at the Barn.  We understand it has been a long time in the making but it [we] are here, and so are our teens. This all about making an investment into these kids, to help guide and encourage them to a brighter, more fruitful future.

So, if you truly want to know what ‘OPEN’ looks like, take a peak down at the Barn when you pass by on weekday afternoons from the hours of 2:30-6:30pm.  And if you really want to inspire our teens to new heights and be a part of something significant- simply volunteer!

We need more volunteers to better support this quality effort, please consider sharing some of you by the gift your time. Call us at (253) 884-1594 for more information.

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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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Wednesday, 31 December 2014 20:16



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