St. John's News

CYP Turns 20, Launches Summer Renovation Project

The Community Youth Program at St. John’s is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018-2019, and “we couldn’t have done it without you!” says Jackie Smith, executive director. “The CYP staff and volunteers, children and families are forever grateful to the St. John’s parishioners and clergy who used their dedication to the community to set the groundwork for what is now a thriving after-school program.

An estimated 500 students have passed through the halls of St. John’s, taking away with them new skills they will need for successful futures. CYP’s goals: “to be a community leader in fostering success through holistic wellness, enrichment style activities and improved academics. 

“Now it’s time for our physical space to match the excellence in our program.” This summer, CYP begins an extensive renovation of its space.

CYP has partnered with Cindy Petersen, executive director of the Taubman Museum of Art, and Chris Clemmer, CEO of Barrows Inc., to develop the educational concept, integrating key facets of CYP’s programming: community and church partnerships, parent engagement, educational enhancement and a focus on the arts, STEM, health and nutrition.

“The layout and design of an after-school space offers students important cues and is a reflection of values,” says Smith. The idea: when the environment matches the developmental characteristics of students, including active play and quiet zones, outdoor and indoor experiences, socialization and independent pursuits, students feel valued and can flourish. 

Those spaces are part of the plan for the new CYP space, which will incorporate furniture and a design that allows for an active, continually evolving learning environment. The modernized CYP space will include fresh coats of paint, warm pops of color, new flooring that brightens the room, contemporary tables and chairs and large amounts of storage space. 

The project is being funded by generous private donations, gifts in-kind and targeted fundraising by the CYP Board. CYP staff are excited to break ground on this new chapter in the upcoming month and a grand opening is planned for the fall.

Contact Jackie Smith, 540-309-6321, or visit to find out how to contribute to this project or be involved in other ways with CYP’s work.