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Youth Development and Services

Your gift of $50 makes it possible for seven Tacoma children to enjoy active, creative programs including meals and snacks.

After School Clubs and Activities
The Middle School Youth Development Program is a Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) after school program that provides activities and clubs at select Tacoma middle schools. This program targets middle-school aged youth to engage the at-risk population with positive role models and appealing activities and events. The program is defined by elements critical to promoting participation among middle schoolers, like choice and autonomy, paying special attention to engage those who need it most.

Free drop-in after school clubs take place on-site immediately after school (2:45-4:30) until the activity bus arrives, Monday-Thursday. Consistent attendance is encouraged, but not required. Participating youth receive a free snack during program to promote and encourage consistent healthy eating. There are five program rotations during the school year that last approximately 6-weeks in length. Youth voices are paramount in identifying the clubs as the intent is to attract every interested student. This past fall, some of the club choices were: Cheer, Robotics, Drama, Random Acts of Kindness, Hip-hop dance, Drawing, Cooking, Strength & Training, Outdoor Adventures, Homework help and Sports Camp.

Late-Night, Lock-In and Evening Programs
Metro Parks Late Night programs are designated to provide a positive environment for youth on nights when youth are at high-risk to participate in harmful or illegal activities. Late Night programs provide an environment where youth can feel physically and emotionally safe, and engage in activities that promote healthy lifestyles. Evening and Late Night programs are typically offered for three hours on alternating Fridays and consist of positive messages, sports, crafts, games and activities and a free, nutritious meal.

Leadership Corps
The Leadership Corps program is offered most intensively during the summer months, and meets at least monthly throughout the school year, giving older youth a chance to learn about volunteer and career opportunities via the recreation and parks industry and connect them with their community, in an effort to encourage and inspire youth about their futures.  

New Experiences Field trips
Primarily nature-focused, field trips may be offered during school holidays or non-school days, providing youth the opportunity to build confidence and experience learning off-site. Last January, a winter field trip gave youth the chance to go sledding/tubing in the mountains; 97% of the youth on the trip said they had never been before to any mountain to play in the snow.