K.R.I.B. Youth Centre - (Where Kids Recreate in Burnaby)

Organization Sponsor: KRIB (Kids Recreating in Burnaby) Youth Centre

Organization Partner: Burnaby, City


Program Description

A place they can call their own; Neighborhood young people rely on KRIB for fun and a place to do their homework.It looks like just another portable at Stride Avenue Community School, but inside the double-wide facility, Kathryn Carriss and her team of seven part-time staffers are doing their part to give Burnaby youth safe and fun recreational activities.
Carriss is the youth centre supervisor for KRIB - Kids Recreating in Burnaby
- a program funded by the city's parks and recreation department. The program, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, is also offered at three other locations in the city - Stoney Creek, adjacent to the Metro Skate Park in the Metro town area and in the Summit Youth Centre in Confederation Park.
"What we offer is after-school programs for 10- to 12-year-olds three days a week, from 2:45 to 5 p.m. and on weekday evenings, we're open from 6 to 10 p.m. for 13- to 18-year-olds," Carriss said. "We've got a pool table, a foosball table, some couches and when the weather's OK, we have them playing floor hockey and basketball outside."
Carriss estimates that there are usually 25 to 35 students during the after-school times and up to 40 for the nighttime activities. Add in recreation leaders like Ivan Dragelj and the portable is often a hopping place of activity. But it's not just fun and games, as the centre also has two computers which can be used for homework and putting together resumes.
"We're a resource for kids around here who may not have access to a computer at home," Carriss said. "They can have fun and they can also have a place where they can get work done if they want to."
One kid enjoying his time at the centre is 12-year-old Yaya Nuair, whose family came from the Sudan five years ago.
"This is a really great place to hang out and play with my friends," said the Grade 6 student at Stride. "If I didn't have this, I'd probably just go home."
Some of the activities Yaya is involved at in KRIB include football, hockey and basketball. He said his parents are particularly happy that the centre is open on school professional development days because he can play there during the day.
One other thing Yaya is thankful for is that many of the snacks at the centre are free, courtesy of local businesses who make monthly donations.
Carriss pointed out that their centre wouldn't be the success it is if it weren't for the cooperation of many different community groups and community leaders.
Working with Stride's community school coordinator Sheila MacTavish, the centre has access to the school's gymnasium twice a week and with the group planning a self-defence seminar for girls, the gym will also come in handy.
Carriss also works with Edmonds' top cop, Staff Sgt. John Buis, who wants the youths to see the police as people too and not just officers in uniform.
In fact, the two pictures of Buis that are on the walls of the KRIB facility are of Buis, in a golf shirt, presenting NBA MVP Steve Nash with several awards in the Phoenix Suns locker room.
"The kids know that John is a big basketball guy," Carriss said of Buis'
duties as president of Basketball B.C.
Donations also come from local businesses and support groups like Mr. Ho's Wonton House, who provide a hot meal once a month to the kids, the Gordon Presbyterian Church, who drop off fresh fruit each Thursday for the kids, Willingdon Church, who offer up a free hot meal every second Wednesday and the Burnaby Metrotown Rotary Club who have donated several thousand dollars which, in partnership with the New Vista Society food services department, provides a healthy meal every second Friday.
"And we can't forget about the Burnaby firefighters, who contribute healthy snacks and Basketball B.C., which gives free basketballs to youths," Carriss added, saying she's thankful that so many different groups come together to make her job so much easier.
Expressing her thanks is 12-year-old Kaija Jones, who plays foosball and air hockey with friends at the centre.
"I really like it when they organize dances for us," Kaija said of the dances held three or four times annually. "I think the next one's in May and I'm looking forward to it."
Kaija said the group also is able to go on field trips, one of which was go-karting.
"I really liked that one," she said."Nodding in agreement is Yaya, who said his favourite trip was sledding down Burnaby Mountain during this winter's recent snowstorms.
Beaming with pride is Carriss, who has worked at the Stride location for six years.
"We're very proud that we offer positive alternatives to pre-teens," Carriss said. "So many people have worked hard to provide a safe alternative for kids, a place they can have fun and feel safe. Everybody's welcome."
The centre's portable is located adjacent to the corner of 14th Avenue and Griffiths Drive. For more information on the KRIB youth centre, contact Carriss at 604-524-6359 or .

Funding Sources: 

City of Burnaby

Strategies For Sustainability: 

This center is supported by the city and has 8 paid staff. It is a former school with a gym. It has a wide variety of activities.Year-round recreation facility, primarily for teens. Includes a games room, computer room, leadership development, and out-trips. Drop-in and memberships available.

Impact Of Program: 

50-60 kids a day use this center a day.

Evaluation Tools: 

Feedback from participants.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

There is a different time slot for different age groups. Financial assistance is available. Types of activity /entertainment area, computers with Internet access, pool table, foosball, ping pong, PS2, open gym time.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Keeping up with youth trends.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This center began in 2000.

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