weather icon Mostly Clear

How a youth program saved summer with an affordable childcare option

As students return to class, a popular summer youth program has closed for the season.

The Pahrump Valley Youth Activities Program began in 2011 as a way to keep students engaged during summer break.

PVYA’S chief co-founder Tom Metscher said the program, now in its 12th year, has gained popularity among parents and kids during that time.

Plenty of stuff to do

The program was originally held at J.G. Johnson Elementary School, but has moved to the campus of Mt. Charleston Elementary School. Throughout the day the kids are grouped by ages, fed breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

Between 80-85 kids a day participated in this summer’s programs, said Metscher, which included reading, physical activities and a media and video game room.

Affordable child care

The cost of the program was $150 for seven weeks, which Metscher said is a bargain, considering all of the educational and recreational activities for the kids.

It’s also considerably more affordable than the $284 on average that parents spend per week on childcare when their students are not in school, according to a 2023 Cost of Care study conducted by care.com.

“It’s been a blessing for many families because we didn’t have a big waiting list this year. We didn’t have to turn down a whole bunch of people, so it all worked out. NyE Communities Coalition has been a great partner and we have some other private donors as well. Partnerships is what makes it work, especially all of the volunteers and the new director, Christian Apolinar.”

Metscher gave thanks to late Pahrump businessman Tom Saitta, who routinely supported the program from the beginning. Saitta, who passed away in 2021, was the owner of Pahrump’s Saitta Trudeau car dealership.

“Tom did a lot for the program over the years and as a matter of fact, his wife Alice just gave us another nice donation the other day,” Metscher said. “She’s so happy to stay involved, to carry on Tom’s tradition of giving and supporting the program in her husband’s absence, which is fantastic. We’re certainly blessed to still have the Saitta family as part of our support team.”

To learn more about the program, logon to pvya.net or their Facebook page.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
RAM event: Free medical clinic needs your help

Next weekend, Remote Area Medical will be bringing its pop-clinic to the valley for the eighth straight year and members of the local host group committee are urging the public to get involved by donating their time to this life-changing event.

USO Benefit Show set to be the best yet — here’s how to get a ticket

The Nevada Silver Tappers are well-known for their patriotic routines and their generosity to the veteran community and this October, these elements will combine into two nights of fantastic fundraising with the annual USO Benefit Show.

How a Soroptomist scholarship helped a Pahrump mom of 3

Embarking on an educational path as an adult can be challenging and for those acting as head-of-household, it can be all the more difficult.

A Smoky Valley curtain call: Youth theater debuts a Disney classic

Andrew Sweeney played multiple roles as the prince, the beast, Monsieur D’Arque and the baker. “My favorite part of BATB JR was getting to be part of the team and meeting all the other cast members,” he said. “I didn’t feel nervous because we were very prepared for the performance.”

Peek inside this senior-living community’s gardens (GALLERY)

Spring Mountain Apartments, a low-income senior living community in Pahrump, has a brand new community garden to enjoy thanks to a partnership with two of the valley’s major nonprofit organizations, the NyE Communities Coalition and the Master Gardeners with the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension.

1,000-plus cats and dogs spayed/neutered

In just seven months’ time, Tails of Nye County has managed to spay or neuter over 1,000 stray cats and personal pets in the Pahrump area with the help of funding from the Nye County American Rescue Plan Act Grant Program.

Want to seek public office? 2 seats up for appointment on Beatty Town Advisory Board

The deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 30 to submit letters of interest to fill two seats on the Beatty Town Advisory Board that are up for reappointment after the end of the year. Letters of interest can be submitted to the Beatty Town Office. What you need to know.

Lakeview Golf Course on the upswing

Lakeview Executive Golf Course will remain under the operation of CourseCo for another five years, following renewal of a management contract with the town of Pahrump. Here’s how the troubled course turned itself around.