Rossland’s Youth Action Network Space reopened Wednesday after school, welcoming throngs of young people who were excited to check out the newly renovated space, make buttons, and just hang out.
Mike Kent, coordinator for YAN, said the turnout for the event was great.
“We had a wave of students come right after school, some of the younger students, and then the kids who [came later], there’s about 25 of them who showed up en masse, after an out trip that they’d done with their school,” he said.
The reopening marks the launch of YAN’s fall programming, which began on Thursday with the return of the Maker’s Lab, where kids can take on technology projects like the 3D scanner that was built over the summer.
Now that the scanner is complete, possible future projects include designing and building robots.
“We’re in communication with the Nelson Tech Club around the Robogames,”said Kent. “There’s already some youth who have expressed interest in being part of that, so they build a robot and they enter it in the Robogames that are happening in early 2016 at Selkirk College.”
The occasion was also marked by the Kiwanis Club presenting YAN with a check for $1000.
“I’d written them a letter of request for that, and they granted that to us to help us keep this place open,” said Kent.
While YAN relies on different grants to help fund its many youth programs, the bulk of its funding is from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).
Michelle d’Entremont, youth liaison for CBT, attended the reopening and was excited about the event.
“I’m actually very interested in getting the 3D scan figurine made of myself. That is a really amazing asset to the network,” she said of the 3D scanner.
As of Thursday afternoon, the YAN Space is once again open for after school drop in hours, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday will be the return of Art Night from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday will mark the inaugural Music Night and Girl Talk respectively.
Music Night is 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and gives kids 12-18 a chance to stop in, jam and learn more about music.
Girl Talk is girls only, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and offers space to talk or just hang out.
As if all that weren’t enough, Kent and the others at YAN are working on putting together even more programs in the future.
They’re even considering a cooking program, now that the space has a kitchen.
“Some kids are like, ‘You should do some cooking programs,’ which is great because part of our renovation was to put in a fridge, and stove, and some cooking facilities to be able to have that as an option,” said Kent.