BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF LANARK COUNTY

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Lanark County will be receiving $6,000 of the $8,000 requested for programming, and their full request of $12,920 for the Smiths Falls After School Program run through a partnership with the Town of Smiths Falls, and YAK Youth Services in Perth.

BBBS Lanark County Executive Director Jennifer Miller presented to council, along with Bridget Manahan, manager of youth services, to request the funds.

Like the railway museum, a delegation is required for proposed donation allotments exceeding $10,000.

Miller reported that the after-school programming has had a lot of success so far. The programming was spawned through an ad hoc partnership after the old Smiths Falls youth centre closed this summer to fill a gap in service. The new after school program, run out of the youth arena, has been ongoing since October 2017.

Miller said the current program, run through a partnership model, is a leaner way of providing youth services — at 45 per cent of the costs of a traditional youth centre.

“It’s a very efficient model,” she said.

Miller highlighted the ultimate dream for the program — to create a youth hub, and the possibility of renovating an old town building to be used as programming space for the town’s young people.

The idea is to have a “one door” space for youth, where they can access multiple services through one entry point.

However, Miller said a paid facilitator is needed to understand how to create that model in the most effective way possible.

Council commended Miller, her team, and the partners for their work to fill a gap that would have been left by the old youth centre’s closure this summer.