Greater Maple Valley Community Center Programs
The GMVCC Children & Family Program focuses on Early Learning and Parent support. We offer a drop-in Toddler Time Play Group for caregivers with children ages 0-5; a Play & Learn School Readiness Co-op (in cooperation with Child Care Resources); Special community outreach activities & events; our summer PBJ & Books Nutrition and Literacy program in a local low income community; and family information, referral and support groups. We emphasize the role of parents as their child's first teacher and the importance of play in learning and child development. Our target population includes an estimated 21% of children in our area at highest risk of neglect and abuse who are in the care of untrained caregivers.
The GMVCC Youth Program targets youth residing in a largely underserved portion of King County within the 7,200-student Tahoma School District. The youth program includes educational, recreational, and social services that foster positive connections between youth, their schools, and their communities; work to develop leaders among the youth; and encourage young people to become contributing members of the community. In January 2008, we opened a dedicated youth center offering after-school Teen Drop-In activities on school days for 6th through 12th grade youth.Concerts/Dances are held on weekends.
The goal of the GMVCC Senior Adult Program is to reduce isolation, create connections, and build on the strengths of the senior citizens in our community. We provide opportunities for education, recreation, and involvement, which encourage strong community attachment and enhance the social well-being and health of these older residents. The centerpiece of the GMVCC Senior Program is our congregate meal program and our Transportation Assistance Program which provides seniors with a way to remain independent by offering door-to-door transportation to activities and appointments.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Until March 2008 our lunch program was part of the Seattle Senior Services congregate meal program, with Senior Services. When we were given very short notice that Senior Services would be unable to continue the program, we immediately developed our own meal program, and were able to continue offering lunches with no gaps in provision. Our senior participants have remarked that the quality of the lunch program has improved, and as a result, attendance has increased from 10-25 per day to 35-50 per day, for an average of more than 500 meals per month. Another issue for our rural community is the growing need for safe and reliable transportation for our seniors and the disabled. We have recently obtained funding to expand our transportation services greatly.