The Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has recently received a $2,500 grant from the City of Lacombe’s Recreation and Culture Grant program. The money will going towards developing structured programming for teenagers in the area through their Teen Day Trips program.
“In the summer months we will have some day trips happening, some activities, and events. Some of them will be, you know, going out to the Ellis Bird Farm, and that sort of thing. I think we will even bring a senior bingo night of thing but the exciting thing is it will also be teaching them to volunteer and give back to their community,” said Executive Director of the Lacombe and District FCSS, Crystal Zens.
The Teen Day Trip program hasn’t been in the community since the early 2000’s. Zens says it has been difficult to plan youth programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic and she is looking forward to offering teenagers structured activities.
“Some of it will be creating a fundraiser and helping our community and some of those leadership community pieces. [We are] appreciative of the funding and excited to launch this new initiative,” she added.
It has been no secret that the isolation involved with the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the youth in the community. The program will offer a space for teenagers to become involved with extracurricular and making connections within the community.
“The isolation is a huge factor and I think there's lots of things for school-age- children maybe or they're more engaged in extracurricular activities. At age 12 and up, there's kind of like that little age group that can be independent. [We want] to provide some structure, meaningful space and activities for them,” said Zens.
She believes giving the teens an option to take part in giving back to the community will help them find a stable place within the community and where they live.
“I know just from being housed at the LMC, there’s a lot of youth that come here to hang out. [If we] just provide that structure to youth oriented activities they can take part. I think it'll be even good to talk to the youth that hang out in our in our city facilities to invite them to be part of something bigger,” said Zens.
Applications for the Teen Day Trip program will be available in May of 2022.