Our goal since our inception as the UKVSAC almost six years ago has been to have a positive impact on any individual that wishes to participate in any or all the activities that are being offered at the Booker T. Washington Community Center.
Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, we had in place activities for the youth on Saturdays, open gym for youth and adults, corn hole league, rooms that are being utilized by the American Red Cross Veteran Support Group/ West Virginia Veteran Assistance Program, polling facility for the elections, exercise, a creative arts class which are teaching youth how to write poetry, use audio and visual equipment, to mix and write music. We are the only WV SADD Chapter that is not affiliated with a school.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected many of our programs and activities, but we were able to maintain our free luncheons, food giveaways, and giving clothing to those in need. We were able to utilize this time to make some changes and much needed repairs to our facility.
The changes – we have remodeled both the men and women’s bathrooms, and our library on the first floor. Each bathroom now have a shower, and handicapped accessible toilet. The library now includes an “Innovation Lab” where children can learn about S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Education. We are creating a “Little People’s Learning Lab” on the second floor, so that Pre-K to Fifth grade can have fun learning, as well as serve as part of our future after school program.
The clothing pantry has been moved to the second floor and we are in the process of remodeling that as well.
Our monthly “free luncheon”, which as started in September 2018 with the assistance of the KCTC and EKPP (Eastern Kanawha Prevention Partnership, and began as every 3rd Tuesday, has been expanded to every 3rd and 4th Tuesday.
Our “free food giveaways” has also changed from once a month (4th Saturday) to twice a month (2ndand 4th Saturdays).
Recently we have had two COVID-19 Vaccine clinics, in partnership with Cabin Creek Health Systems, United Way of Central West Virginia, and the Kanawha County Collective. CAMC also provided free HIV testing.
We have placed two “Blessing Boxes” in Montgomery (First Baptist Church of Montgomery, and near the Rivermont Homes, Inc. Apartments on 4th Ave). There will be two more placed, one in Montgomery and London.
Currently we are opening our two conference rooms on the first floor, for meetings with socially distanced groups of 30 (the Blue Room) and 15 (the Green Room).
Soon, we hope to have a walking path that encircles our adjacent Grant park. It will also have access to the nearby Kanawha River, where individuals can fish, kayaking and other water sports. We want Grant Park to not only return to its original glory, but also be a place where people can come together for activities, as well as for better health.
We are looking forward to having the gym repaired, an elevator installed and getting our former and new programs going, so that we can continue to help be a beacon of hope in the Upper Kanawha Valley. Our goals are to: provide an after-school program for children, tutoring, GED classes, and computer learning for adults which enable them to find work in the area.