Youngstown non-profit looks for community input on new kids programs

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The executive director of the McGuffey Centre wants to give kids on Youngstown’s East Side a closer place to go to learn, play and grow.

“I’m open to ideas, whatever anybody wants to do, if they feel like it’s a need we’re going to do our best to get it in house for you,” said executive director Shaleen McRae.

McRae said the centre could be the place for kids to go to learn and play outside of school, but she’s looking to the community to help her create programs that will interest the area’s future all year long.

“Retired teachers, tutors, students who are looking for a couple of extra credit hours, community service, just general help,” McRae said.

The building has two floors with a space upstairs for kids to play pool, foosball, air hockey, library, a cafe and an art studio, among other rooms where programs can be help.

“If you have a skill, if you to paint, if you like to play basketball, we’ve got a full-sized gym. We just turned our ceramic room to an art studio so now we incorporated painting, sewing, we still have the kilns for ceramics,” McRae said.

They already have many programs going on at the centre for adults but want to start focusing more on the younger generation.

“If we can’t engage them now they’re going to be more enticed to leave the area and we need some of those good minds to stay here so we can continue to grow, we can bring in new ideas to the area and that’s not going to happen if we lose our kids,” McRae said.

Some community programs going on now include line dancing, monthly food giveaways and a toy drive. People can bring toys in to donate at the centre, which is located on the corner of Jacobs Road and Northwood Avenue.

“I’m even thinking about trying to make the McGuffey Centre into ind of like a community hub, a resource hub,” McCrae said.

McRae is looking for input. Anyone who has an idea or would like to start a program can call the centre at 330-744-4377 and leave a message.

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