Earlier this year, the FYI Center in Fairbury, with the help of members of the Zion Countryside Church and other community members, was able to install new carpet.
Dr. Howard Law, Pastor at the Zion Countryside Church, explained that he is glad the congregation was able to help make improvements at the center. He stated that they are very supportive of the FYI Center’s goal to help young people in Jefferson County and to provide a safe space for them to go after school.
“As disciples of Christ, we are called to serve,” said Law. “Our congregation chose the FYI Center to be the service project of the month. So, we asked them if they needed help with anything, and they said they needed some help laying down new carpet, and we said we would gladly help with that.”
Members of the congregation and other volunteers from the community worked for several hours to install the new carpet. Collena Laschanzky, Director of the FYI Center, is thrilled to see the changes and is grateful for all of the help they have received from the volunteers.
“We’ve had the same carpet since the day they built this place,” said Laschanzky. “It was in dire need of replacement. It was getting so worn that you couldn’t even tell when we cleaned it. Having so many volunteers really helped the process move along. It was really great to see and we are so thankful for all of their help.
Laschanzky gave an overview of what the FYI Center in Fairbury does to help serve Jefferson County’s young people.
“We’re going on our 14th year here are the FYI Center,” Laschanzky said. “Our overreaching objective here is academic assistance for young people ages first grade through 12th. Monday through Thursday we have mostly first grade through seventh grade, but anyone beyond seventh grade is welcome to come too, they just have to come talk with us. On Friday nights we have teens only nights so they have a place to come hang out. We want to reach young people who don’t have academic support at home.”
The FYI Center serves not only as a place that helps to reinforce what is learned in school, but also a safe place for young people to stay after school.
“We know nationally that young people are perpetrated upon between the hours of four and six after school,” said Laschanzky. “We also know that young people tend to get in the most trouble between the hours of four and six. So, the other objective is to provide other healthy activities to keep them from getting in trouble. We have a wonderful group of adult volunteers and we work to grow those healthy relationships between those young people and adults in their community.”
Laschanzky invites young people to come to FYI Center and to take advantage of the services they offer whether it is their after school program or even the Youth Leadership Council, which helps young people gain leadership skills. This year the council is working to get the FYI Center more involved in the community.
“We feel like the FYI Center has amazing support,” Laschanzky said. “Now, the young people want to go out into the community to support it. Doing things out in the community is our focus this year. I just challenge young people to come see what all we have to offer here at the FYI Center. Teens especially because teen night is really under utilized. I think this is a great opportunity for all of them. There have been some huge changes over the past 13 years, and I’m really happy with it.”