Youth Center granted $30,000 to add new RASCALS location

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Pictured left to right: Councilwoman Tonya Doby, Executive Director Lina Lumme, Program Director Jamie Harris and Los Alamitos Mayor, Richard Murphy Courtesy photo

The Los Alamitos Youth Center recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new Rossmoor After School Club and Learning Services (RASCALS) location at St. Isadore Historical Plaza, made possible by a $30,000 grant from Wawanesa Insurance.

The ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce took place on September 17 at St. Isadore Historical Plaza (The Plaza), the new home of The Youth Center’s third RASCALS location. The Plaza RASCALS will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics activities. Dignitaries in attendance included Los Alamitos Chamber Board President, Nesi Stewart and members, The Plaza Board President, Richard Murphy, Councilwoman Tanya Doby, Assemblyman Tyler Diep’s office, Senator Thomas Umberg’s office and Seal Beach Mayor Schelly Sustarsic, as well as The Youth Center Board members and staff.

RASCALS is an affordable after school program that provides a safe environment for children to learn and grow both academically and socially. Activities include sports, arts and crafts, science experiments, games, reading and special seasonal activities. The other RASCALS programs are held at Rossmoor Park and Rush Park and focus on recreation and hands-on nature exploration. With the addition of the Plaza RASCALS location, The Youth Center is now able to directly serve 7 schools in the Los Alamitos School District and many kids who live outside of the school district.

“Thanks to Wawanesa, we were able to purchase the books, crafts, science and STEM supplies, sports equipment and school supplies needed to start the program,” said Lina Lumme, Executive Director of The Youth Center. “We started with an empty room, made possible by The Plaza, built shelving units, added fun furnishings and replaced the air conditioning unit that was broken so the kids could thrive comfortably in their new environment,” added Lumme.

“Until now, children at these schools were walking home to an empty house while their parents were at work, trying to complete their homework without any help and keep themselves occupied for hours. Now they can get homework help, learn new science experiments and stay active and safe,” said Jamie Harris, Programs Director.

The Youth Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform children’s lives one family at a time through collaborative social, educational and recreational programs. Since the birth of the Youth Center in 1952, The Youth Center has been honored to establish valuable partnerships within the community and acknowledges their critical importance in the organization’s current and future success. For additional information on The Youth Center, please call 562-493-4043 or visit www.TheYouthCenter.org.