All about the MM Youth Centre

What is the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre (MMYC)?  Who is it for? What goes on there?

by Janet Morrison, Manager

We are on a mission this spring to make sure everyone in Mississippi Mills knows the answers to these questions!  Why?  Because you or someone you know might enjoy joining in, as a participant, a volunteer, an activity leader, a staff or a donor.

Playing euchre with local residents

What is MMYC?   It’s a youth centre in Almonte, housed in the old Mac’s Convenience store at 134 Main Street East.   MMYC is a Not-for-Profit organization which started in 2016 and became incorporated in January 2017.  In the beginning it was overseen by the Municipality of Mississippi Mills.  In June of 2017, MMYC became its own entity guided by an active Board of Directors, a Manager, Program Coordinator, Youth Worker staff, the youth themselves and many dedicated community partners and volunteers.  It is still funded in part by the Municipality, Lanark County, federal and provincial grants, local service clubs, foundations, churches, groups and businesses in this supportive community.  It’s an important place for youth to feel secure, practice life skills, discover themselves, have fun and help others.

What is MMYC not?  It’s not a shelter or a residence.  It’s not a place to receive counselling (although we can refer youth and families to local services and we have staff who have schooling and experience in areas such as social service work, child and youth work, police services, Kinesiology and Therapeutic Recreation).  MMYC is not a place to get or do drugs or bully others. There are consistent behaviour expectations and consequences.

Who is MMYC for?  All young people aged 10 – 18, regardless of income, gender or location of residence in the Mississippi Mills area, are welcome to participate in MMYC activities.   So, if you are wondering, “Can my kid go there?”, the answer is “Yes”, if aged 10 – 18, rules are followed and values respected (safety, fairness, fun, inclusion etc.).  If you are an adult or senior and you are wondering “Can I go there?”, the answer is also “Yes”, as there is weekly specific intergenerational programming through a project called Forever Young! run in partnership with Mills Community Support Services.  These are great opportunities for all ages to mix and share fun, skills, knowledge and experiences!

What goes on at MMYC?  Youth can drop in after school for safe, supervised activities.  They can play ping pong, pool, darts, board games, video games, air hockey, cards and other fun unstructured games from 2:30 – 4:00.  Most days from 4:00 – 6:00, there are structured programs, workshops or courses that youth sign up for.   So far this school year, youth have enjoyed cooking, loom knitting, meditation, a babysitting course, euchre, harmonica lessons and more!  Community guests have led workshops and talks about cooking, the Military, winter survival, baking and fitness to name a few.  There is a Gym Night on Friday evenings from Sept – April at ADHS. The March Break camp was a big success and our Program Coordinator is busy preparing an amazing Summer Camp!

How can you get involved?  Follow the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre Facebook page for up-to-date info on programs, camps, fundraising events and activities where youth give back to the community.

Now happening:

Buy a Brick fundraising campaign – to support our darts and arts program!  Get your brick from an MMYC staff, youth or Director.

Coming up in April:
  • Forever Young!  Trip to Fulton’s Sugar Bush on Friday April 5th
  • Easter Egg Hunt for kids all ages on Sunday April 21st from 11:00 – 1:00 at MMYC.   Children under our mandate age of 10 will need to bring an adult with them.
  • Awake-A-Thon on Friday April 29th at MMYC.  Pledge a youth or staff!

Thank you for supporting local youth and your community!

For more information about MMYC contact the Manager, Janet Morrison at director.mmyc@gmail.com  and to register for activities, contact Program Coordinator, Sara Fortin at coordinator.mmyc@gmail.com . You can also phone 256-5959 or drop by to visit so you can see for yourself what the Youth Centre is all about!