A summer program equally popular among parents and children is scheduled to return to Pahrump next month.
The Pahrump Valley Youth Activities (PVYA) program provides educational and physical activities for elementary school students this year from May 28 through July 26th.
This past week, the program received a healthy shot in the arm from local businessman Tom Saitta, who donated a $10,000 check for operational costs.
Ongoing local support
Saitta has been making the generous donations at his auto dealership since the program began roughly nine years ago.
“This program means a lot to us,” Saitta said during the Tuesday morning check presentation in the showroom of the Saitta Trudeau Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership.
“We started this nine years ago because the national Boys and Girls Club pulled out of Pahrump and left our kids with nothing to do during the long summer.”
Getting signed up
PVYA President Thomas Metscher, who was beyond grateful for the endowment, said parents can register their children during a signup event in the showroom of the Saddle West Resort later this month.
The cost is $150 to enroll in the program.
Maximum capacity is 175 students.
The venue is J.G. Johnson Elementary School, at 900 Jackrabbit Street, off of Calvada Boulevard.
“Registration will be on Tuesday, May 7, from 4 to 5 p.m.,” Metscher said. “We get them in and get them registered really quickly. Families can also download and complete the registration packet at pvya.net. Once you get it all downloaded and print it out, just bring it in on May 7th and we will get your child registered.”
Aside from the various activities for the children, Metscher said the program also focuses on nutrition.
“The kids get fed breakfast, lunch, and also an afternoon snack, so they are taken care of with that all day long,” he said. “The doors are open at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and we wrap up at 5 p.m. so it’s a program for the entire day. The program consists of many elements, where the kids get a lot of recreational time. There are specific rooms for the activities.
“There’s a media room, an arts and crafts room, and they do a lot of interactive activities. There’s also a reading program that goes with it. It’s very well structured and organized. We have a very active Facebook page under Pahrump Valley Youth Activities.”
It’s all elementary
Metscher also said students must be in a certain age range to participate in the program.
“The age range for the youth are age 6, all the way up until they enter the seventh grade,” he said. “So it’s generally up to age 12 or 13. We break them down into groups, so it’s age appropriate for them.”
Metscher also said the youth in the program can expect a few visitors from time to time.
“Crews from Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services and deputies from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office come out and visit with the kids,” he said. “The folks at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch track bring a race car out.”
Additional local support
Regarding support for the program, Metscher said several local organizations and agencies have stepped forward.
“We also get a lot of generous support from NyE Communities Coalition, who helped us out with managing all of the behind-the-scenes stuff, plus they provide us with support staff,” he said. “Another great resource is the AmeriCorps organization, through the coalition, and they help our staff throughout the program. We also get a very nice contribution from CoreCivic as well. They have been a great partner from the get-go, so we want to make sure that we recognize all of our partners and everyone who helps run our program.”
Saitta, meanwhile, showed his appreciation to officials at the Saddle West Resort.
“We would also like to thank Gregg Schatzman, the general manager of Saddle West, because every year for the past nine years, they give us the hotel showroom at absolutely no charge at all,” he noted. “In fact, they even provide snacks and food for the parents and kids when they sign up for the program. They have done this for us every year.”
Never too late to donate
Saitta also said donations to the program are still being accepted.
“You can still bring your donations to support this program to the Saitta Trudeau Jeep Chrysler Dodge dealership and we will make sure the kids get it,” he said. “Also, every year during this time, we have a car wash where we wash cars for free all day long. It’s coming up but we haven’t established a date yet. All we ask is that you make a donation to the program. I don’t care if it’s only fifty cents, we will wash your car for free, because it’s all about the wonderful kids.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes
A closer look
See the Facebook page of the Pahrump Valley Times for a video from the event