*Editor's Note: The Family Community Center will be closed through Dec. 4 in accordance with the schools' shift to distance learning.
The Breckenridge Family Community Center after-school program has been less frequented than usual since the beginning of this school year, Manager Mandy Steinberger said. The center was unable to open by the first day of the school, instead opening Sept. 28. Since then, Steinberger has seen a smaller crowd, and she’s getting creative to remain open.
The FCC will be hosting a social distance game night on Friday, Nov. 20. Steinberger said she hopes to offer a safe opportunity for people to let loose, have fun and play a game of Pictionary. The game night will begin at 3:30 p.m. and last until 6:30 p.m. The maximum number of people allowed in the center is 15, but Steinberger said she will make waiting lists or alternating slots of time if more people are interested.
Steinberger said the night will include prizes, free popcorn and the long anticipated release of the “new edition nachos.” She hopes the event will serve as a reminder to parents and students that the FCC is open and available for youth to gather after school.
“It’s really something that not a lot of people know about,” Steinberger said of the FCC.
She said some of the lapse in attendance can be attributed to the weather. When it gets snowy and cold, youth tend to flock to the center, but so far, the weather has been unseasonably warm. The center is open from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and has a maximum capacity of 15 people.
Steinberger said there are many parents in the community who would rather have their children spend time at the center than alone at home after school. Not only can it be safer, the children have the opportunity to play with friends or have a quiet place to do their homework.
The center requires masks and takes everyone’s temperature at the door. Inside, youth remain socially distanced and are monitored by one of the adult staff to ensure they are following guidelines.
Steinberger said as long as the schools remain open, the FCC will remain open. She is always open to ideas of activities to do with the children after-school that follow COVID-19 guidelines. An idea box sits behind the concession stand in the center, and anyone can slip their written thoughts into it.
“We want to be able to justify to City Hall that we are open because people are coming,” Steinberger said.
The center plans to host more events in December, like another game night and a coloring contest for children.
People interested in attending the event can call 701-640-6829 to reserve a spot for Friday’s event or respond to the event on the FCC Facebook page.