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For the past 16 years, the Fallon Youth Club has provided high quality, low cost, after-school programming for the children/youth of Churchill County with a focus on at-risk kids.
Open since 2005, the Fallon Youth Club moved to its new 15,500 square foot building behind the City-County Gym on Venturacci Lane across from Northside Early Learning Center in February 2021 and began offering services in a purpose-built space funded in large part by the William N. Pennington Foundation.
“We aim to provide at-risk youth a safe place to be that highlights the importance of education while connecting them to positive adult relationships,” said Shannon Goodrick, the club’s executive director. “We use recreation activities to build those relationships.”
She explained that staff builds a relationship with a child while playing a game or exercising and can inquire about how a child is doing in school, at home or with friends. Staff can then follow-up to assist children as needed. “That standing relationship allows kids the security to tell us about what is going on with them and if things are going sideways at home,” she said.
Goodrick said the youth club staff works quite a bit with foster kids to become their friends because oftentimes, those kids lack relationships with adults.
The Fallon Youth Club offers tutoring, structured activities, play time and exercise options weekdays after school from 3-6 p.m. for children and youth ages six through 18. Currently, the club’s active enrollment is 352 children with a daily average attendance of just over 100. The majority of kids are under age 15.
Programming focuses on building character and leadership, health and life skills, exposure to the arts, education and career development and sports/fitness/recreation opportunities.
Goodrick said the club is initiating a teen program and hopes to provide activities for teens on Friday nights under the direction of a teen program coordinator.
A staff of 14 serve the children in various capacities.
Funding for the Fallon Youth Club comes from a variety of sources with no one source being more than 30% of its total budget. Churchill County has a long-standing history of supporting the Fallon Youth Club and for the last number of years, has contributed $10,000 annually to support its operational needs. This money is used to cover general operating expenses and provides for funding to cover costs between grant reimbursements. The City of Fallon also gives substantial ongoing support to the club.
A combination of grants comprises about 51% of the club’s operating budget and include:
Other funding sources for the club include community donations (25%), fundraising (15%) and member fees (9%).
Goodrick said she would like to grow the programming and services provided to support more kids and families in the community and give them the best opportunity to thrive.
“We hope to be able to train caregivers and childcare providers in this area and to help folks navigate the childcare licensing process. Ultimately, we want to become the anchor in the community as the place for kids and caregivers.”
Parents and guardians wanting to enroll their children at the Fallon Youth Club should call (775)423-6926. The club website is www.fallonyouthclub.com
Photo: Kids work on lessons at the Fallon Youth Club.