Reach Child and Youth Development Society is a non-profit society that has been serving Delta since 1959.
The organization’s mission is to provide timely, accessible and family-centered community programs and services for the optimal development of children and youth.
Reach offers multiple programs and workshops to the Delta, Surrey and Langley areas, currently serving in excess of 1,000 families with children who have developmental needs per year.
Reach has been settled in its new home at the Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children at 5050-47th Ave. in Ladner for just over a year.
In all, 107 volunteers help out at Reach, many of whom man the social enterprise Finds Exchange that is an excellent source for used children’s clothes, toys, books and equipment right inside the children’s centre.
The Reach playground was enlarged in a recent development and opened just in time for Ladner Pioneer May Days.
Children immediately enjoyed the giant rope web, tree fort with slides and expanded space. Reach development manager Kristin Bibbs secured funds for the new addition.
“We are excited to bring this addition to the playground to be enjoyed by the children of Reach and all those in our wonderful community,” said Bibbs.
Strong community involvement with Reach has been evident throughout this year, starting with Cheers for Children fundraiser at the Harris Barn in February.
Four Winds Brewing Company sourced three bands to play at the second annual live country music evening and provided the accompanying beverages and Newmans Fine Foods provided dinner.
In April, Reach hosted the Ladner Business Association to introduce the building and the services it provides to local business people.
Reach executive director Renie D’Aquila gave a presentation to attendees.
“Reach is blessed to have this centrally located, brand new facility located in the heart of Ladner,” she said. “We are so appreciative that our building’s donors are continuing to support Reach as we expand and develop new programs for children in our community.”
A great day for families followed on McHappy Day on May 8 benefiting kids with needs at Reach. Delta police and fire departments were out in force manning the drive-thrus and Holly Elementary choir, Deas Island Dance and the O’Brien School of Irish Dance performed at the Ladner restaurant.
McDonald’s owner/operator Steve Krawchuk has raised funds for Reach for 11 consecutive years. This year, two giant TVs were raffled off to augment the fundraising activities.
At the beginning of June, local businesses sponsored and donated prizes to support the Shining Lights Gala held at Tsawwassen Springs. Sponsors, donors, guests and volunteers were instrumental in the evening’s success and significant awareness was raised.
This summer, Ladner’s Links at Hampton Cove will host a fundraising golf tournament, with accompanying free children’s play and activity area on Aug. 17. Watch for information at www.hamptoncoveopen.ca.
Funding received at Reach events is used to remove families from program waitlists and for program expansion.
During 2018/19, counselling, Delta Connex and Choices received this funding to expand service. Reach is also planning on enhancing the Positive Behavioural Support program and offering further diagnosis support to families.
Facility upgrades in Reach North Delta for preschool are in the works and Reach Play & Learn Centre will be improved to serve youth in the community.
Long-term plans are to provide designated program space in Surrey.
Reach aims to provide some certainty to the futures of children with special needs in our communities whether they are here in Ladner or further afield.