We are part of a non-profit made up of community members who feel that the established town of Oakhurst, county of Madera, has not taken full advantage of the opportunity to provide its residents with youth-oriented programs and activities. Our non-profit was born of a mutual frustration that our fellow community members must fund, sustain and create opportunities for our youth to succeed and thrive, which would normally be provided for using our tax dollars. While we acknowledge that the successes and wins of other non-profits and business collaborations in Oakhurst, we also see areas where we could potentially grow in many positive ways – by both effectively using what is already in place and by developing new projects to expand forward.
We would like to be able to provide a solution for members of our small community to find positive ways to learn and grow, in youth and beyond. In order to achieve this vision, we will need to pool our communities’ resources to effectively create programs like yoga, dance, music and art, and partner with central locations for these activities to consistently take place. We’d also love to explore options like coding, video and other digital content exploration classes. The goal is a consistent student base that increases the economic and social development of the area as a whole. Hosting instruction in these fields can promote a myriad of mental and physical benefits through health and stamina, reduced anxiety and depression and boosting cognitive abilities. Another aspect we are eager to tap into is the ability to positively affect the social and emotional dynamic of the community, thus reducing the isolationism and propagating an overall sense of belonging.
While we recognize that there may be overlap between our programs and what is being offered in schools, we are aware that the arts and physical education are typically the first programs to be cut in times of budget constraints. We would like to establish an environment outside of the school setting which allows for a deeper exploration in this field without being subject to budget vagaries or a grade-oriented construct. We have some ideas that we have been discussing that go beyond the classroom, and we would appreciate your input.