Pahrump Valley Youth Activities makes return

There’s no doubt that many local parents and children are pleased with the return of the Pahrump Valley Youth Activities (PVYA) Summer Program, which provides summertime education and recreation for Pahrump’s youth.

The program began late last month as a way to keep area kids ages six to 12 engaged in fun and educational activities throughout summer break.

It’s partnered with NyE Communities Coalition where trained staff operates daily activities for the program at J.G. Johnson Elementary School.

PVYA Director Denise Koch said the program is already at capacity with upward of 190 youths participating.

“We provide breakfast, lunch and a snack at the end of the day,” she said. “The breakfasts and lunches are provided by the school district as well as the snack. The fee is $150, which I think is a bargain. It’s a safe and fun environment and the kids also learn something throughout the day.”

The program has also partnered with the Nye County School District for a special reading program.

“They brought in their reading program, so we are offering the reading program as well to provide a little education along with the fun activities and games,” Koch said. “We like to sneak some education in the program. It’s very exciting and the kids really love it.”

Koch spoke about a brand new element to the program initiated via NyE Communities Coalition.

“It’s called Positive Action and Say it Straight,” she said. “The classes will teach the kids about feeling good about themselves and what they can do to make positive choices. It’s all about teaching the kids confidence and emphasizing actions that promote a healthy and positive cycle in their lives.

“It also empowers communication skills and behaviors, including self-awareness and positive relationships along with personal and social responsibility. It’s designed to decrease risky and destructive behaviors,” Koch said.

Another new program dedicated to the arts, Koch said, involves the Pahrump Arts Council this year.

“They will come in and spend a week here debuting an arts program that they received funding for,” she said. “They will be doing some painting and dance routines and other art activities. We are very excited about that.”

Koch also noted that PVYA could not exist if it were not for community support.

“Local businessman Tom Saitta and Saddle West support us,” she said. “We also received funding from the community in the form of donations. We also do a car wash fundraiser at the Saitta Trudeau dealership.”

Saitta, along with Nye County Juvenile Probation Supervisor Tom Metscher and Saddle West General Manager Gregg Schatzman, formed the program not long after the Pahrump Boys and Girls Club shuttered its doors years ago.

“The Boys and Girls Club pulled out of here because it was being run through Las Vegas,” Saitta said. “Myself and several other people got together and made this all happen. We think it’s important to give back to our community because the community has supported us.”

The program comes to an end on July 26.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at On Twitter: @pvtimes

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