Children and youth programs and services

Suburbs

Visit our COVID-19 webpage for details on current programming and facilities.

Fall 2020- Children and Youth Programming

Helping children to find ways to express themselves through creative activities, being physically active, having some social connection outside the home, having routine, and having respite for parents will be our focus this fall.

Through our programs and services, we will

  • provide opportunities during the day, afterschool and in the evening and weekends,
  • allow children to stay with a set cohort in a program that minimizes exposure to multiple people
  • continue the practice of physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene in accordance with Provincial Public Health measures and
  • support the mental health and physical well-being of children and youth and their families.    

We look to provide a neighbourhood-based approach to program and service delivery to ensure access, neighbourhood connections and responsiveness to different needs and realities. 

Virtual programming and alternative “do-it-yourself” options such as “Camp-in-a-box” will continue to support families who are not comfortable with in-person programming. 

Children's Programs

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Rent-a-Camp-Counsellor (4 - 11 years old)

Rent a Camp Counsellor is a creative option that provides your children with a fun and interactive experience in a supervised and inclusive setting that adapts to the COVID-19 regulations.  

YOU sign-up a group of up to 10 children between the ages of 4-11, and let our staff entertain them for 2 fun-filled hours. Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

We offer 5 different types of programming including nature, arts, sports, STEM or variety. You select the location and date which works best for you, and we will meet you there with all of the resources and supplies needed! A great option for a special occasion, birthday or celebration!

Rentals available:

Tuesday mornings (10 a.m. - noon) at Williamsburg Community Centre

Saturday mornings (10 a.m. -noon) or afternoons (1 - 3 p.m.) at Bridgeport Community Centre

Saturday Oct. 10, 24 or 31 (morning or afternoon) at Williamsburg Community Centre.

$60 for entire group for 2 hours

First booking available Oct. 13, 2020 

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Drop and Dash – Half-day 'Camp'  (5- 9 years old)

Brighten your child’s day with this fun and interactive camp. This once a week half day camp will give children a chance to participate in fun physical distancing games, crafts and activities with other children their age in a safe and supervised setting - and give parents and guardians a chance to do your own thing! 

Our trained and first aid certified City of Kitchener staff will be facilitating the program and incorporating different themes each day.

Take a break and get your child active and socially involved! 

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

$60 for 8 weeks, fee assistance and inclusion support available

5 - 7 years old

Williamsburg Community Centre- Mondays , 9:30 a.m. - noon, starting Oct. 26

Victoria Hills Community Centre- Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – noon, starting Oct.28

Forest Heights Community Centre- Thursday, 2 - 4:30 p.m., starting Oct. 29

Bridgeport Community Centre- Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – noon, starting Oct. 30

Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre- Fridays, 1 – 3:30 p.m., starting Oct. 30

Centreville Chicopee Community Centre- Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – noon , starting Oct. 31

6- 9 years old

Victoria Hills Community Centre- Wednesday 2- 4:30 p.m., starting Oct. 28

Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre- Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. - noon, starting Oct. 31 

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Strings and Things- Music Program (7 - 12 years old)

Music is universal and a powerful tool for expression, communication and even brain development. It goes beyond words, enables meanings to be shared and can influence our  emotional, cognitive and behavioral well-being. Join us for this 8 week session where we try out different instruments, feel the power of singing together, learn a few basics about chords and strumming on a ukulele or guitar and learn from guest musicians as they share their talents. Also included will be musical games and activities to help develop listening and social skills through music. 

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces. 

For 7 - 12 year olds

Chandler Mowat Community Centre- Mondays, 3:30 - 5 p.m. 

8 weeks starting Oct. 26, 2020

$35, fee assistance and inclusion support available

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Heart for Art - creative arts program (8- 12 years old)

Creative arts sparks children’s interest and helps them in their ability to think and imagine! With a focus on fun, imagination and creativity, Heart for Art is a welcoming program in which arts and crafts are combined with mentorship and support that fosters a sense of achievement and builds self-confidence.

Participants are invited to explore their innate creativity and express themselves artistically (and make some pretty cool stuff). Join our staff as we explore different art mediums in this hands-on program led by experienced artists. All supplies are included as you create a different piece of art every day.

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

For 8 - 12 year olds

Forest Heights Community Centre- Mondays, 4 - 6 p.m.

8 weeks, starting Oct.  26

$35 +$5 fee for supplies

 

Chandler Mowat Community Centre- Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5 pm

7 weeks, starting Oct. 28

$30+ $5 fee for supplies

Fee assistance and inclusion support available.

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Youth Programs

To register for any youth programs please go to ActiveNet Kitchener.

Building Youth Leadership Development (12 - 15 years old)

Leadership development means building self-confidence, developing problem-solving and communication skills and learning how to work with others. Similar to the summer BYLD program, youth between the ages of 12 -15 are invited to register for this 5 session leadership development program that will include guest speakers, workshops and discussions on leadership qualities and skills. The program will conclude with three tangible leadership opportunities (*with physical distancing) in a City children services program (1- 2 hours per week for 3 weeks). 

Obtain high-school community service hours while gaining knowledge and transferable skills that will benefit you for years to come.  Employers look for programs like our Youth Leadership Development program on resumes when hiring young people - another great reason to consider making our program part of your fall plans. 

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

For 12 - 15 year olds

Country Hills Community Centre- Mondays, 4 - 6 p.m., starting Oct. 26

Chandler Mowat Community Centre- Tuesdays, 4 - 6 p.m., starting Oct. 27

Centreville Chicopee Community Centre- Wednesdays, 4 - 6 p.m., starting Oct. 28

$48 for 5 weeks and 2-6 hours of experiential practice in children's programs 

 

Fee assistance and inclusion support available.

 

Register on-line using ActiveNet

Homework (and Fun) Club  (10 - 15 or 12 - 17 years old)

Now that the school year is underway, some families may find that they are challenged by strategies around kids’ schedules and dealing with homework. Remote learning can be a challenge and not something every parent or guardian can assist with. Let our young tech savvy youth staff help! Homework Club is a chance to get support and guidance with school work in a safe and supportive and inclusive environment.

Not only will our leaders help with homework but they will also have some fun club activities planned as well through which students will develop their teamwork, communication and social skills.  Join the club and get the work done and have some fun.

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

For 12 - 17 year olds

Tuesdays at Forest Heights Community Centre, 4 - 6 p.m. starting Oct. 27

$48, 2 hours once per week for 8 weeks

For 10 - 15 year olds

Wednesdays at Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre, 4 - 6 p.m. starting Oct. 28

$42, 2 hours once per week for 7 weeks

 

Register on-line using ActiveNet. Fee assistance available.

Skills and Drills- Basketball Fundamentals (12 - 15 years old)

Starting with the basics and progressing to more complex skills, (dribbling, shooting, passing, etc.) each week will have a different focus to help grow your basketball skills.

This program will incorporate public health guidelines around COVID-19 safety measures. Each ball player participant will have their own ball (i.e. not sharing of equipment) will be assigned to an individual net (basketballs can be provided). Drills will be organized on an individual basis, to ensure compliance with physical distancing safety measures. There is no game play happening in this program. This is an opportunity for your teen to brush up on or develop their basketball skills.

 For 12 - 15 year olds

Centreville Chicopee Community Centre- Mondays, 6- 8 p.m. starting Oct. 26

$32 for 8 weeks

Country Hills Community Centre- Tuesdays, 6 - 8 p.m. starting Oct. 27

$32 for 8 weeks

Forest Heights Community Centre- Wednesdays, 6 - 8 p.m. starting Oct. 28

$28 for 7 weeks

Chandler Mowat Community Centre- Wednesdays, 6 - 8 p.m. starting Oct. 28

$28 for 7 weeks

Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre- Thursdays, 6 - 8 p.m., starting Oct. 29

$32 for 8 weeks

 

Register on-line using ActiveNet. Fee assistance available.

Skills and Drills- Intermediate Basketball (12 - 16 years old)

Being physically active is also a great way to boost mental health. This basketball program will be a good outlet for youth to get physically active and to reduce their levels of stress, anxiety, etc.  This program is ideal for youth wanting to develop their basic basketballs skills to an intermediate level, who have already participated in fundamentals basketball program or have some experience with basketball and feel ready to begin intermediate training. In the intermediate program, socialization will be a focus when developing as a player. Being a constructive part of a team is crucial when playing the game of basketball.During this time of COVID, we might not be able to play a “normal” game of basketball, but we can learn transferable skills of leadership, relationship building, etc. 

Public Health guidelines will be followed related to face masks, physical distancing and the cleaning of supplies and frequently touched surfaces.

For 12 - 16 year olds

Fridays at Chandler Mowat Community Centre, 6- 8 p.m.

$32 for 8 weeks

Register on-line using ActiveNet. Fee assistance available.

DIY and Virtual Programs (live, on-line and interactive)

The City of Kitchener understands some families are hesitant to have their children take part in certain social settings during the pandemic. So, we’re bringing the fun to you! The City is excited to offer children in our community some “do-it-yourself” and virtual activities that bring fun and connection right to families in their own home.

To register for any child or youth programs please go to ActiveNet Kitchener.

Plots and Thoughts 
Storytelling connects us, helps us make sense of the world, and communicates our values and beliefs. A good story makes us think and feel, helps us understand others and connects us.
Using a zoom meeting format, 2 staff will lead you and fellow writers through an exploration of the world of creative writing in this virtual, live and interactive program where you will design, plan and write your own short stories. Participants will walk through the writing process, create characters and complete the program with a bound copy of a story written entirely by them.
The Gratitude Project
Research has shown that gratitude plays a major role in one's well-being and success. In fact, research indicates that gratitude has the strongest relationship to life satisfaction.Gratitude not only helps people form, maintain, and strengthen supportive relationships, but it also helps people feel connected to a caring community. The Gratitude Project will engage children in activities that encourage them to reflect on what they are grateful for in themselves, in those around them and in their community. Activities will also provide participants with the opportunity to share their gratitude and see the power of their own actions on others - and themselves.

Camp in a Box 

Camp in a box offers families four exciting options that bring classic camp programming right into their home. Choose between a Super Science Box, an Amazing Art Box, a Neat Nature Box or a Creative Combo Box, each containing all materials and instructions for 10 projects that will challenge children to think outside the box. Buy your box on Active Net for each season!
Small Acts, Big Impacts Challenge
 
Grand Connections Letter writing program 
 

Accessibility and Support

Personal Assistance for Leisure Activities
 

If your child has a disability and requires accommodation to participate in a program, assistance may be available through our inclusion services area. Please contact us for more information.

PAL card (Personal Assistance for Leisure Activities)

Leisure Access Fee Assistance

 If you require financial support for you or your child to participate in programming, fee assistance may be available through inclusion services. Please contact us for more information

Leisure Access fee assistance

Interested in more activities? Visit our Active At Home page

Other Resources Available During COVID

Resources for Parents

Having Good Conversations with Children and Youth about COVID-19

Emergency Child Care

The Region of Waterloo is coordinating a temporary emergency child care program for parents who provide critical services in our community (list of eligible workers) who have exhausted all other care options for their children. Fees will be paid by the Ministry. Care will be offered to children from birth to age 12. Apply for emergency child care online. For more information, please see their frequently asked questions or call 519-514-1474 or email ECC@regionofwaterloo.ca 

On-line Resources and Activities

LOCAL ON-LINE RESOURCES

ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES  

Emotional and Mental Health
It is important to recognize that these are stressful and uncertain times and children and youth may need extra help to support their emotional and mental health.

Join the WAYVE Self-Care Challenge 

Try out different kinds of self-care and get rewarded for it! Over the next 6 weeks WAYVE will be posting a new theme each Monday at 9 am. All you have to do is make time to practice self-care that relates to that theme three times that week and tell them about it.

Be kind to yourself - reach out if you need to talk.

  • Here 24/7 mental health crisis support offered by KW Counselling by phone at 1.844.437.3247 or online 
  • Front Door child or youth mental health support. Call to make a telephone or video appointment. Please contact them directly at 519-749-2932, and press “1“ to speak to staff. 
  • Kids Help Phone- 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French at 1.800.668.6868. 
  • Good2Talk A free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365.  
  • LGBT Youthline: If you identify as a LGBTQ2+ youth and want to talk with another youth who might get what you are going through you can reach out to YouthLine. Call 1.800.268.9688 or text 647.694.4275. Please note they are only available during certain times. You can also CHAT LIVE with someone who gets it at https://www.imalive.org/
  • Big White Wall: An online support environment for people looking for help with depression and anxiety. Free to all Ontarians 
  • BounceBack: A guided self-help program for adults and youth aged 15 and over, using workbooks with online videos and phone coaching support. 
  • Youth Space: anyone from across Canada under 30 years old is welcome to chat with volunteers who want to hear how things are going for you. Open 6 pm to Midnight. Text 778-783-0177 or online
  • You can visit Here4Help at its own website:  www.here4help.ca, or though the CMHA WW Website:  www.cmhaww.ca

Stay Active

We know that everyone, but particularly young people, benefit emotionally, mentally from being physically active, going outside every day and engaging in some form of personal growth or learning or experience. Trying new thing, especially through play, helps young people grow and develop confidence. 

We know that in these times, it is vital for all of us to engage in this sort of self-care and caregivers can help their young people to do this. 

  • Teach your child or sibling how to cook a favourite family recipe (or try a new one out together) or just learn the basics.
  • Teach them how to check the oil in the car if you have one 
  • Teach them how to do laundry or how to sew on a button. 
  • Teach them how to tie a tie

Share your ideas with us at youth@kitchener.ca and we will add them here for others to try

Regular Programming (when facilities re-open)

We offer local children and youth a variety of recreation and leisure, civic engagement and leadership development programs, designed to help them build their skills and discover new abilities in caring, inclusive environments.

Opportunities include:

Recreation and leisure

  1. After-school recreation programs
  2. Holiday camps (winter break, March Break)
  3. Summer camps
  4. Youth Drop-in programs (school year and summer)
  5. Mobile Skateboard Park program 
  6. Arenas (skating and events)
  7. Market programs and events for children
  8. Minor-sports programs
  9. Natural areas programs, parks and trails
  10. Pools (swimming) and splash pads
  11. Outdoor facilities - outdoor ice rinks, basketball courts, bike parks, skateboard parks, cycling, golf courses, tennis courts, sports fields

Leadership development and volunteering

  1. BYLD -Building Youth Leadership Development
  2. Kitchener Youth Crew
  3. Student placements
  4. Volunteer opportunities

Civic engagement

  1. Kitchener Youth Action Council
  2. Youth Forum

Events

  1. Ambush the Arts
  2. KYAC Youth Awards
  3. National Youth Week events
  4. Market events and programs
  5. Special events and festivals

Employment

  1. Summer Employment Expo
  2. Current opportunities
  3. Hiring Now - summer camp and youth drop-in opportunities

Tools and resources

  1. Little Black Book for Youth

Accessibility and support

If your child has a disability and requires accommodation to participate in a program, assistance may be available through our inclusion services area. Please contact us for more information.

  1. Leisure Access fee assistance
  2. PAL card (Personal Assistance for Leisure Activities)

Contact Us

Janice Ouellette
Supervisor, Children and Youth Services
City of Kitchener, 200 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
T.: 519-741-2200 ext. 7169
TTY: 1-866-969-9994
F.: 519-741-2723
Email Janice Ouellette
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