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The Sun Valley Youth Center is a non-profit after school and summer program for kids ages five to sixteen in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood. We use a trauma informed, attachment based model of caregiving to set our youth and families up for success. The core pillars of our practices are:
Our main focus is creating a safe and engaging space for kids to come and be themselves in. With every activity that we do, we aim to build relationships that will last well beyond the time our kids leave the building. We play hard and often. We work to create powerful childhood memories and support transitions into adulthood.
Every child who walks through our doors has access to fresh, healthy snacks and meals, hydration, sensory tools, and opportunities for active movement. When we start by meeting basic needs, we are able to create safety and grounding. We teach students about the parts of their brain and help them to focus on the elements of their life that they can control. Coping skills look different for each of our youth, and we empower them to discern what helps set them up for success in challenging times. We discuss our emotions and work to increase communication skills, so that kids can not only identify where they are at, but they can also articulate it to others. We advocate for our community and empower our community to advocate for itself.
Even at the best of times, there can be hard days. When our youth struggle, we remain by their side and support them in getting back to balance. We invest in our parents and ensure that they have the tools they need to best lead their families.
What I like about the youth center is they’re so caring. They help you with everything! You can play with them. If you are having a hard time, if you tell them your needs, they will help you.
We are so grateful to our long-time supporters, Union Pacific Foundation, for their partnership and commitment to helping inner-city youth develop an appreciation for the outdoors. Thanks to their generosity, we’ve been able to take youth and their families biking and can sponsor students on team sports such as flag football. Thank you, Union Pacific!
Sun Valley Youth Center Monthly Newsletter