“A new normal” is a phrase you can hear being tossed around regularly. Schooling at home, social isolation, and the cancelling or changing of extra curricular activities have been a stress on the families in the west Edmonton community. Parents are pulling their hair out, and kids are climbing the walls. While the COVID-19 situation is no laughing matter, we certainly don’t want a lot of patchy-headed parents wandering around. So, at Kids On Track, we took a long, hard look at how we can continue to create community while gatherings are limited because more than ever, people need community.
Our Shift Youth team has been busier than ever, creating a “new normal” for youth online, with content including movie watch parties, leader videos, online scavenger hunts, hang outs, and more. We want to make sure that all youth have the ability to remain connected with their peers and trusted mentors. We are confident that we can create community with the youth, even with social distancing at the front of everyone’s mind. The mental health of our youth is of utmost concern, and we know that every chance to connect is worth the time and effort.
The guidelines for recreational programming have now come out, and we are excited to announce that Kids On Track Summer Shift Youth program will be a “go” this summer. Our games may change, our activities may be modified, but we are thrilled we can help create connections with friends and mentors and make memories with the youth of West Edmonton.
We are going to be doing “pop ups” for family programming, as we know more than ever kids and parents need community. Social isolation cannot mean community isolation, so stay tuned for our creative team as they come up with Active Family events throughout the summer.
Kids On Track continues to navigate the recommendations from our health authorities, and we will be working within the “new normal” that has been mandated. Things may look a little different, and we are remaining flexible as things unfold this summer. Registration will be announced through our website and e-mail updates to our participant families, which you can sign up for on our website (www.kidsontrack.org). You can also keep tabs on what Kids On Track is up to on our various social media platforms: Twitter (@kidsontrack, @SHIFT_YOUTH), Instagram (@kidsontrackedmonton, @kotshiftyouth), and Facebook (@kidsontrackedmonton).
Kristy Chaisson is the Program Director, Kids On Track Association of Edmonton.