Cabin fever can be a distant memory for Alberta Avenue league members with plenty of opportunities to participate in local programming this year. The league is expanding its programming with math tutoring, a collective kitchen, drop-in sports, and outdoor skating.
Lenn Wheatley, neighbourhood connector for Alberta Ave, began assessing community interest toward various activities and programs while having conversations with residents this summer.
The increase in programming evolved as community members came forward and expressed interest in participating in or leading activities.
“We make a point of chatting with as many people as we can,” said Karen Mykietka, program manager for Alberta Ave. “We have been hosting neighbour connect events and specifically ask people about their activities, interests, skills, and abilities.”
Greg McInulty and Terrance Prusak run math tutoring in the league lounge every Thursday from 7:30-9 pm. McInulty believes in equity and providing help in “neighbourhoods in our city where kids need help but their parents can’t necessarily afford it.”
McInulty approached the league as a volunteer in late September and has a weekly turnout of roughly half a dozen children between grades 1 through 11, with the younger children engaging in math games.
“[We] just give a different perspective than their teacher,” said Prusak. Both men said they believe the children who visit them each week are “just as capable as any other human of [succeeding in math].”
For those who want to break a sweat, the league offers drop-in basketball to members every other Thursday between 6-8 pm. Stephen and Markus Lingasen supervise the event.
“[Basketball is] primarily for youth to interact and develop skills including sportsmanship, comradery, exercise, and a healthy mind and body,” said Stephen.
Youth and adults of all ages are welcome to participate. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by someone 15 years or older.
The program is still new and aims to attract more youth using a community-based approach. The focus is to “be able to share what you have with others,” said Stephen.
On alternate Thursdays, Jeff Potkins hosts drop-in badminton.
An outdoor skating rink located behind the community hall as well as access to a warming area and bathrooms will also be open on Thursdays from 5-8 pm. When organizers find a volunteer rink host, additional hours will be available during the weekend. Mature teens and adults can sign up for shifts on the league website.
If you like to cook, volunteer Virginia Potkins leads a monthly collective kitchen in the newly renovated commercial kitchen. Potkins began the registered event on Nov. 19 to help connect the community.
“Community building is something that we are missing in our communities and the disconnect is creating a lot of lonely people,” said Potkins.
Participants can expect to help prepare and cook four different meals each month: a soup, a chicken dish, a beef or pork dish, and a vegetarian dish. The collective kitchen is inclusive to all dietary choices.
“Getting children in the community involved in learning a new skill, and involved in the community, is so important,” said Potkins. Children can attend if they cook with their parents.
Don’t miss the new year’s skating celebration for all ages on Dec. 31 between 6 pm-1 am on the outdoor rink, featuring a fire pit, hot chocolate, and music.
League memberships are available for $10 for a single person and $20 for a family from the Sept. 1-Aug. 31 year. Most programming is free, however a league membership (from any league) is required.
Wheatley welcomes Alberta Avenue residents to stop by the office on Thursdays between 5-8 pm. Or, contact him at [email protected] or at 780.477.2773.
Find out more about league programs and events at albertaave.org.
PROGRAMS AT ALBERTA AVENUE
Zumba: Mondays, 8 pm
Yoga: Tuesdays, 7 pm
Taekwondo: Wednesdays (registration + fee required)
Drop-in sports: Thursdays, 5-8 pm
Math tutoring: Thursdays, 7:30-9 pm
Collective kitchen: check albertaave.org for dates (registration + fee required)
Featured Image: Parents and children work together at the collective kitchen to prepare meals for their family. The program does not provide any childcare. Children are only allowed if they participate with a parent. | Karen Mykietka