For anyone living in Hastings and attending the Fehsenfeld Center, I had the chance to speak with Jacqueline Perez, assistant manager at the Hastings Community Education and Recreation Center which is located as a part of Hastings High school at 520 W South St. I wanted to see what the C.E.R.C had to offer for community members and how they are helping kids prepare for college.
Q: What purpose does the Hastings C.E.R.C Serve?
A: The C.E.R.C is a place for community members to join together for life skill classes, fitness, academics and many other different reasons.
Q: What do you provide for young kids and teenagers within the community?
A: We provide a safe place for kids to hangout, do homework, play basketball, play pool, swim, lift weights and many other activities. Our main goal at the C.E.R.C is for students to have a comfortable place to get their homework done and be able to relax until it is time to go home. We know how many kids have it rough at home and we try our best to provide that safe space for them.
Q: How does this idea of a safe space for kids prepare them for college and work towards college readiness?
A: Well we hope that kids will take advantage of our space and work towards getting their academic responsibilities in order. Although that is not our main purpose, we do believe that being a part of the school we need to do everything we can in helping develop these kids through our various classes, which we are working on expanding, and large space. We have many different areas for students to sit and work while we also provide them a place to take a break and play pool or watch a movie and socialize.
Q: Ok, so on the expansion, what do you see in the future for the C.E.R.C?
A: Well we hope to provide more classes, we have a few right now which include self-defense, crafting, sewing, a book club, yoga, zumba, and other various classes in which people of all ages can attend. We hope to provide a foreign language class, possibly a tutor session, and hopefully some other classes to help get community members, especially kids, involved in bettering themselves and learning new things.
Q: Lastly, overall how does this benefit the community, especially for kids and teens?
A: Well I believe that the idea of a community center overall brings people closer to their community, that may seem like a redundant sentence however many adults push their kids to get involved in sports or music to become more involved in their community and our center provides more space for these young adults to grow, they are always welcome here and we do our best at making sure the kids are comfortable when they are here. Our space allows them to take on responsibility and gives them a space to get homework done if they cannot go home right after school. Some kids just can’t get homework done at home so we also give those kids a space to have an opportunity to work. And for the kids that may just want a space to relax until their parents are off work or until they want to go home, we have a wide variety of kids constantly coming in which provides all kids new experiences to meet new people.
For more information visit: https://cerc.hassk12.org/ or call (269)948-4414