Recreation: YAK delivers a wide range of free or low-cost recreation programs that appeal to youth with different abilities and interests in the ‘critical hours’ after school, five days a week. Programs include: Move It! After School (active outdoor play), art programs (based on the principles of art therapy and expression), music programs (including guitar lessons and drumming circles), social events (movie nights and coffee houses).       

Social and Emotional Learning:  YAK offers programs that help youth develop social and emotional skills such as self-awareness, self-expression, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Programs will include the local Health Unit’s Managing Powerful Emotions, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, yoga/meditation, and Lanark County Community Justice’s Restorative Circle Practices.

Mental Health:  YAK’s staff are all trained in Mental Health First Aid; certified by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Our Main Coordinators are trained in Trauma-Informed Care, and Suicide Intervention. We provide mental health service referrals.

Kitchen Program:  YAK provides free healthy snacks and suppers five days a week. We will continue to run our Kids in the Kitchen program to teach youth about nutrition, food preparation and cooking.     

Safety:  We continue to provide information and sometimes full workshops to help youth stay safe at school, at work, at play, and online. Topics include how to deal with bullying, staying safe online, safety at work, substance abuse and addictions, and human trafficking.    

Housing:  YAK will continue to support youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing basic necessities such as food, clothing and toiletries. We will continue to refer youth to Cornerstone Landing, who can assist youth to find secure housing.    

Transportation:  We are actively seeking funding to provide transportation for youth to ensure they are able to participate in programs at YAK (through Lanark Transportation).         

Homework Help and High School Completion:  We offer homework help and encourage youth to achieve their high school diploma. 

Workforce Readiness Training: We deliver programs to help youth prepare for the workforce. Training will help youth develop ‘hard’ skills and certification (e.g. WHMIS, Smart Serve and Safe Food Handling), and ‘soft’ skills such as workplace expectations, etiquette, communication and workplace conflict resolution. 

New Programs being developed and actively seeking funding:

Youth Facilitation Team YAK is in the process of securing funds to begin a new program that trains older youth on pertinent local social issues to run fun, interactive workshops for younger youth on the topics of their choice. The workshops will be a for fee service.

Youth Conference – youth from all over Lanark County come together for 2 days of fun and entertainment.

Battle of the Bands – youth bands compete for top spot

Conlon Farm Skate Park Youth Skateboarding Competition

‘Zine Making and Production