When I started writing this blog I was so excited to dive in and tell the stories of kids that I postponed writing the background of the program. Now, 18 blogs later, I think it is time for me to introduce the Game Loft.
Who we are: The Game Loft is an after-school program for youth ages 6-18. We play all kinds of non-electronic games. Our mission is to “promote Positive Youth Development through non-electronic games and community involvement.” So what is Positive Youth Development? It is a model for service used by 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Girl Scouts. It has 8 basic tenets that are:
- Security: Youth feel physically and emotionally safe.
- Belonging: Youth experience belonging and ownership.
- Acceptance: Youth try new things.
- Independence: Youth discover self.
- Relationships: Youth develop quality relationships with peers and adults.
- Values: Youth discuss conflicting values and formulate their own beliefs.
- Achievement: Youth feel the pride and responsibility that comes with mastery.
- Recognition: Youth expand their capacity to enjoy life and know that success is possible.
That’s what we try to do every day with every kid.
We want every kid to become an adult who is caring, confident, competent, connected and contributing. In other words, the kind of adult you want to know at home, in your neighborhood, and running the world.
We have a vision for the Game Loft as a community where all people are valued regardless of age; where youth become resources with meaningful roles and responsibilities for positive community change; where disabled youth, juvenile offenders, the bullied, the ostracized, and all who feel voiceless are heard and respected; and where willing volunteers of all ages work to improve the life of their community.
We have been promoting this mission and these values for 17 years. The proof of our success is the young people who have graduated into adulthood from this program, their families, and the quality of the staff we have been able to attract.
Today I wrote a job description for a new AmeriCorps VISTA worker. This is a one year position that will help us deliver more and better service to western Waldo County. I often ask you for your time, talents, and money but today I ask you for a referral. If you know a man or woman over the age of 18, preferably a college graduate, who would be proud to share our ideals, please send him to our web site or have that person call Ariel Levangie at the Loft 207-338-6447 for more information about being a VISTA worker. It could be the year that changes his or her life.