Two Waters Alliance Supports Red Barn


Thanks to our new partnership with Two Waters Art Alliance, we will be able to offer art classes to middle and high school students this summer. We are so fortunate to have the support of TWAA and their talented artists that will provide students with classes that include drawing, painting, and sculpture. Please check our calendar for updated days and times for art classes at the Red Barn.

Two Waters Arts Alliance is a collaborative and community based organization that facilitates participation and education in the arts for the people of the Key Peninsula and surrounding communities.

Two Waters is composed of artists and supporters of the arts, those who appreciate the value of the arts, those who believe the arts are central to a community’s well being, and those who believe the arts are an essential component of a well-rounded education. TWAA aims to maintain vibrant arts programs on the Key Peninsula and ensure arts education thrives in its schools.

To learn more about Two Waters Alliance visit them at:

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

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Volunteer today

Volunteers making the rounds during homework.

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

Eagle project soars at Red Barn Youth Center

scout and table

  Eagle Scout A.J. Hollaway, delivering the hand made picnic tables.

 By Glen Ehrhardt and Colleen Slater

 A.J. Hollaway is an Eagle Scout who soars to  amazing heights. He joined Troop 220 a few  years ago because he really wanted to become  an Eagle Scout.

 Hollaway watched the Red Barn slowly develop  since he moved to the Key Peninsula nearly six     years ago. He selected the Red Barn Youth  Center for his Eagle project.

 “Last summer at the Red Barn ‘SPLASH event,  I learned they were in need of various items for  the grand opening,” Hollaway said. “Picnic  tables were on that list and that is where I  thought about this project.”

 He said he was excited to build something that  would be helpful to the kids who would be attending the Red Barn.

Hollaway studied many patterns and styles of tables online before choosing a style.

“It is a very strong construction and I wanted something that would last a long time,” he said.

One of the challenges was building the legs so the tables would sit flat. The entire project took about a month to complete.

Hollaways father, Jeremy, was always nearby to supervise and supplied tools from his workshop.

Hollaway opted to burn checkerboards onto two tables, another challenge.

“The rain made things a little difficult when the tables were complete and we needed to stain them,” he said.  “Overall, everything worked out well and I was very happy with the end results.”

Silverbow Farm donated wood grown and milled at the farm for the tables, adding another layer of uniqueness to the project.


“I think this makes it really special for the youth center,” Hollaway said.

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:

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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