There are community centres scattered throughout St. Johns, with a total of six, serving the lower-income and subsidised housing areas, supported by government funding to offer free and no-cost programming to area families. If you’re fortunate enough to live in one of their areas, whether you live in subsidised housing or not, you are able to avail of their programs.
To the best of my knowledge, all six operate afterschool programs for kids ages 5/6 and up. They also operate homework havens and tutoring programs for older children. These programs are free and provide your children with homework help and/or scheduled activities and a daily snack as well as special events.
These are not childcare programs, so you have to be prepared for the fact that if your child says he/she doesn’t want to be there, staff cannot insist they remain on site. They also face more cancellations than most paid programs will, for things like staff-meetings or other scheduled use of the space. And there is no transportation provided.
However, if you’re a parent with a little flexibility in your schedule or a stay-at-home/work-from-home parent who just needs an occasional break, these programs provide a great service.
My children attended one of these programs last year and they enjoyed the variety of activities and the snacks, of course. The programs typically focus on keeping kids active and learning new games.
For more information about each center’s programs or to find out if you live within the center’s service area, please visit their website and/or contact them directly:
Chalker Place Community Centre (no website, call for info)