York Creek camp offers fun, art, skill-building – and, of course, food!

Sharelle Richardson of Mirror Me Images talks to children about values at the York Creek Summer Program

Ramona Sol says she’s grateful she can bring her children to the York Creek Summer Program at the community center at York Creek Apartments.

“They can be out of the house and keep their minds open,” she said as she picked them up at the end of the three-hour programs. “Otherwise, they’d probably be on the phone or their tablets playing video games.”

The contract for teens attending the York Creek Summer Program

Cathy Racalla, a prevention services lead for Wedgwood Christian Services, says they try to make the programs “experiential” so it doesn’t feel like another day in school. While the younger children play games and create art projects, the teen sessions focus on life skills, avoiding substance abuse and leadership skills.

The summer program, which began on June 17 and runs through Aug. 15, operates from noon to 3 p.m. on Mondays through Thursday at the community center for York Creek Apartments.

The program is in its ninth year of operations, Racalla says. “This is something they really look forward to.” This year’s program registered about 35 younger children and about 15 teenagers.

The program is sponsored by Comstock Park Public Schools – which gets about 25 percent of its students from York Creek – and several non-profits, including Wedgwood Christian Services, Kent District Library, Family Outreach Center, Cherry Street Health Services, Arbor Circle, Mirror Me Images and the Kent County Health Department. Lunches are provided by the Comstock Park Public Schools’ food service staff.

James Harger
James Harger reported on West Michigan's economy, courts and politics for The Grand Rapids Press and Mlive.com for more than 37 years. He also is employed as Servanthood Leader at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Grand Rapids. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he also has worked for publications in Holland, Mount Pleasant and Lansing. He is married to Lisa and has one daughter, who lives in Ann Arbor. Read James' full bio or email James.

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