FLINT TWP. — Children can have fun while learning at a new YouthQuest site set to begin at Randels Elementary School on Jan. 17, making it the fourth Carman-Ainsworth location to be involved in the after-school child development program.
YouthQuest is a free program, administered by the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and offered at 14 elementary and middle schools in four districts countywide also including Flint Community Schools, Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools and Montrose Community Schools.
As of mid-December, 121 Randels students had signed up for the program, said Bonnie L. Haffajee, Randels principal.
Paris Ward, has been named the Site Team Leader and can be reached at 810-922-0341.
Randels YouthQuest participants will be exposed to a range of activities including reading, math, science, Quiz Bowl, journalism; Panda Press, computer lab, photojournalism, choir; vocals, Crim Fit Fitness, nutrition, arts and crafts, and sports. A special activity is planned each week by the YouthQuest site team.
YouthQuest announced in mid-November the selection of Randels as its newest program site following a competitive selection process begun in early fall.
Randels students are joining 1,200 students across Genesee County who participate in YouthQuest. In the Carman-Ainsworth district, YouthQuest programs already are in operation at Dye, Rankin and Woodland elementary schools.
The selection of a fourth Carman-Ainsworth school as a YouthQuest site is a wonderful thing for the children of the district and a great accomplishment for Randels, Bill Haley, C-A superintendent, said in a press release.
“The value of high-caliber after-school programs is immeasurable,” said Haley. “This is an important chance for a greater number of our district’s students to benefit from the impactful programs that YouthQuest offers. I know firsthand how YouthQuest benefits children and it is a great thing that the students and parents at Randels will now be able to participate. We are excited that Randels was able to rise to the top of those vying for this important enrichment program.”
Haffajee added that YouthQuest is a welcome addition because it echoes the school’s goals to focus on the whole child and promote academic, social, physical and emotional growth.
“We are very excited that YouthQuest is coming to Randels,” said Haffajee. “Through exposure to new learning approaches and new ways of experiencing the world and their approach to it, I believe Randels’ students will benefit from this gold mine of outcomes and benefits. This is a great opportunity for our entire school community.”
Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber, also said he was pleased to add Randels as a YouthQuest site.
“It has been proven that after-school programs can have a major impact on the trajectory of children’s lives and the opportunity to impact the lives of Randels students through after-school activities and services is critically important,’’ Herman said. “This new site will add to the number of children in Genesee County who will benefit from the important skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and healthy decision making YouthQuest provides.”
In 2010, YouthQuest provided free afterschool activities and services for more than 2,800 students. Rhetta Hunyady, group vice president of operations and employer education and training connection for the Regional Chamber, the YouthQuest family looks forward to working with Randels’ parents and the entire community.
“In addition to academic and enrichment activities, the program keeps kids safe, helps working families and inspires success among youth,” she said. “YouthQuest covers a diverse spectrum of experiences, including the arts, leadership and health. We are pleased that YouthQuest is expanding to include Randels and I encourage parents to take advantage of this important opportunity.”
Parents interested in enrolling their children in YouthQuest should visit www.yquest.org or contact YouthQuest at 810-422-5904. YouthQuest programs run Monday through Thursday for three hours after the regular school day and during the summer and includes a meal and a snack. The number of participants is limited.
YouthQuest is funded entirely by charitable donations.