Westside Community Gym kicks off new after school program

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Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:02 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- After receiving a $35,000 community grant from Broome County this year, Westside Community Gym located inside Tabernacle United Methodist Church is using the money to give back to local youth through a new after school program.

The gym opened its doors Monday, Sept. 26 and will continue to run its after school program Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. The program is free to children ages 8 through 16.

“It’s very fortunate that we were able to apply and receive this grant through Broome County to be able to redo the floors, the ceiling and the lighting,” said Program Supervisor Sarina Barrera.

The grant also allowed the church to hire a gym coordinator to oversee the day-to-day activities that include educational support, sports, and arts and crafts.

“They will come to the church after school, they will go to the youth room and they will have a ‘Power Hour,’ said Tabernacle UMC Counsel Member Eileen Diaz. “That’s where they can do homework, they can play games, they can chat, they can have snacks. After they’ve been there for an hour, they can come down to the gym and play.”

Both Barrera and Diaz said they are excited to finally launch this new program and help provide youth with a safe space to grow in all aspects of life.

“These programs are vital for our community. They’re amazing programs,” said Barrera. “But there’s just not enough. We need more and more of these programs in order to enrich the lives of our children in this community.”

To register your child for the after school program at Westside Community Gym, parents can call 607-723-8983 or follow this link.

The after school program is also seeking volunteers and help with donations -- both monetary and donations of sports equipment.

More information on how to donate or how to get involved as a volunteer can be found here.

Tabernacle United Methodist Church is located at 83 Main Street in Binghamton.