YMCA center on Casino Road gets new name

The name wasn’t inaccurate, just incomplete. Kids aren’t the only ones finding help and an inviting community at a center on Everett’s Casino Road.

This week brings a new name for what had been the YMCA Casino Road Youth Development Center. It’s now the YMCA Casino Road Community Center.

“This has evolved way past a youth after-school drop-in place,” said Cory Armstrong-Hoss, associate executive and director of evaluation with the Mukilteo Family YMCA.

It was September 2011 when the Mukilteo Family YMCA opened the center in the Children’s Village complex at 14 E Casino Road. The site, renovated by the YMCA of Snohomish County, is near seven schools and about 40 apartment complexes. The apartments are home to many immigrant and low-income families.

Over the past five years, more than 500 children and teens have been served annually at the center. Thousands of nutritious meals have been served. The center provides homework help, computer access, mentoring and simply a safe place to be after school.

It’s also a hub for the Y’s Minority Achievers Program, which helps teens strive toward college.

Doing all that has brought opportunities to help the area’s adults.

When the YMCA came to Children’s Village in 2011, there was a small English language learning program. “It was run by teenagers, and it was kind of on life support,” Armstrong-Hoss said Tuesday. “We were serving kids in the afternoon, and many of their parents didn’t speak English.”

He said the Y was approached by Todd McNeal to take over the English program. McNeal is executive director of Hand in Hand, an Everett-based nonprofit that provides short-term shelter for children entering foster care.

At first, the YMCA used its own staff to teach English language learners. By 2012, the YMCA had forged a partnership with Seattle Goodwill to provide English classes at the center. Goodwill has a job training and education center near the Everett Mall, but doesn’t provide child care.

“They sometimes have to turn away moms because they don’t allow kids in a classroom,” Armstrong-Hoss said.

Today, the newly named YMCA Casino Road Community Center provides English and other adult education classes, with free child care offered, along with GED preparation classes in Spanish and a Spanish play-and-learn group for young children.

And there is a new partnership with Edmonds Community College to offer high-level English language classes at the center. That coalition, between the YMCA of Snohomish County, Seattle Goodwill and EdCC, is called the Casino Road Adult Education Academy. “The first class is about to end,” Armstrong-Hoss said.

Students in the adult academy are offered family YMCA memberships at an 85 percent discount, giving children from the Casino Road area access to the Mukilteo Y.

“Now we’re seeing more kids coming for swim lessons and sports, and more moms are coming,” Armstrong-Hoss said.

There are still more goals.

“The dream is to have additional classes for credit,” Armstrong-Hoss said. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if parents on Casino Road could get credit for classes they take at Children’s Village?”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Waiting lists and growing demand for low-income preschools

There will be 1,000 more spots opening in the state next school year — far fewer than needed.

Snohomish County PUD general manager and CEO to retire

Craig Collar, 54, who will return to Montana, joined the utility as a senior manager in 2006.

Jensen Webster sorts through food stuffs at the Sultan High School in Sultan on March 14, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sultan school children take charge to help their peers

The Sky Valley Youth Coalition has installed pantries at schools so kids can take food home.

Cougs beat Dawgs — and the Hawks

WSU boasts the No. 1 specialty license plate, and the money that comes with it.

Police seek female suspect in north Everett burglaries

She’s suspected of being an accomplice to a man who has committed five other burglaries.

North Machias Road bridge down to one lane until fixes made

A bridge south of Lake Stevens remains at one lane of travel… Continue reading

Everett woman found dead identified as 21-year-old

There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body of Brianna Leigh Nyer.

Ivar’s in Mukilteo closes for disinfection after illnesses

The Snohomish Health District said it’s not certain what caused some patrons to get sick.

People fill up various water jug and containers at the artesian well on 164th Street on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
It’s the water: Lynnwood’s artesian well draws fans from miles around

True believers have been flocking for decades to the last well flowing in the Alderwood district.

Most Read