In an effort to give parents the tools to help make an informed decision this fall, Noozhawk has conducted a series of interviews with representatives of local after-school programs for this year's After School Activities Guide.

In this interview, Noozhawk sits down with Wana Dowell of the Page Youth Center to learn more about its after-school sports program. 

Page Youth Center

Question: Which age groups are appropriate for your program?

Answer: Grades one through eighth or youths ages 6 to 18. From beginning to advanced athletes, we welcome all children who can benefit from organized activities and fine mentoring to keep them on track as they mature into young adults.

Q: When did your program first start? Is it local to the area?

A: Shortly after moving into the Page Youth Center facility on Hollister Avenue in 1991.

Q: What was the thought behind creating the program? 

A: That children need healthy activities and mentoring during after-school hours when they can be most vulnerable to negative influences. Since its inception in 1984, the Page Youth Center has been “keeping good kids good” through well-organized sports and recreational activities. What was once a dream held by a group of local citizens concerned about their community’s youth is now a thriving organization that mentors thousands of young people each year. 

Q: What are your goals for kids who participate?

A: Our goal is for kids to learn the skills of the particular sport, to learn to be a team player, to learn that winning is not always the goal and to develop character and discipline. 

Q: Which sorts of activities can parents expect their children to participate in?

A: Housed in a multipurpose recreational building on Hollister Avenue, we are committed to providing quality programs and activities that instill in kids a sense of teamwork, good citizenship, fair play and sportsmanship. 

The sports available this fall are a girls basketball clinic, a boys basketball clinic, a coed volleyball clinic. We also have a winter basketball league for boys and girls in first through eighth grades.

Q: Is there a particular activity that students enjoy more than others?

A: All of these sports are well-attended and seem to be equally enjoyable to kids! 

Q: How is your program unique from other after-school activities in the area?

A: The level of mentoring and teaching is superior to those programs that tend to simply be child care. We also have earned a reputation over the years as “PYC, the Place to Be!"

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add about your after-school program?

A: No child is ever turned away for the inability to pay. In 2015, the agency served about 2,100 unduplicated children, of which 75 percent of youth are provided scholarships in order to participate in PYC programming.

The Page Youth Center serves the entire South Coast area of Santa Barbara County. Twenty-eight percent of our families come from the city of Santa Barbara, 30 percent are from the city of Goleta and the remaining 42 percent come from incorporated areas of Santa Barbara including Montecito, Carpinteria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and Santa Maria.

Click here for more information about the Page Youth Center, or call 805.967.8778.

Skill development, teamwork — and having fun — are key aspects of the Page Youth Center’s after-school program.
Skill development, teamwork — and having fun — are key aspects of the Page Youth Center's after-school program. (Page Youth Center photo)

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