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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Spring has sprung at the NOTL Youth Collective
After a successful year of running the collective, Caroline Polgrabia said the volunteers have “really started to hone in on what the kids are looking for.” SOMER SLOBODIAN/FILE PHOTO

The NOTL Youth Collective welcomed a new season of fun for youth in Niagara-on-the-Lake last Wednesday.

After a successful year of running the collective, Caroline Polgrabia said the volunteers have “really started to hone in on what the kids are looking for.”

The spring session’s programs — kicking off with Wednesday’s SpringFEST activities — will consist of all the things Polgrabia and volunteers found the kids’ liked most.

“We’re going to keep the same pattern that we had for winter,” Polgrabia said, saying that the afterschool program will continue to run on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. 

Monday nights will host a formal survival game night with team shirts and team names, Tuesday nights will host the more “male-identifying” geared activities and Wednesday nights host the Love It program which takes on the more “female-identifying” geared activities.

Polgrabia said despite being traditionally gendered, all the kids tend to enjoy the activities, with a lot of girls picking up tools during things like woodworking workshops. 

Certificate programs will also be running this session, with specifics to be announced.

With improved activities and attention to what the kids like, Polgrabia said attendance numbers have been steadily increasing.

“Spring last year we were averaging five, six kids, seven kids sometimes in a night. Now we’re doing 20,” she said.
The kids are finding it, and they’re finding things that they like and we’re finding the things they like.”

Polgrabia added that the young people who started in certain groups have warmed up to one another, started socializing and making new friends within the collective.

“That’s the whole point of it,” she said.

Thanks go out to the community and businesses who have supported the NOTL Youth Collective while it continues to grow, Polgrabia said.

“Garrison House gave us our food for the kids tonight, we couldn’t do it without them. Cornerstone gave us this centralized space,” she said.”We wouldn’t have been as successful in another part of town: it had to be in central Virgil, so community support matters.”

juliasacco@niagaranow.com

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