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Laurene Weste: Centered on fun: SCV community centers

Posted: January 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.

As a former parks commissioner for the city of Santa Clarita, I am deeply passionate about ensuring our residents enjoy quality recreation facilities, beautiful outdoor space and a healthy way of life.

As a council member and now mayor, I’ve seen many of our dreams become a reality, from cross-town trails and open space to award-winning parks and programs.

This is why I am such a supporter of our local Newhall and Canyon Country community centers, which deliver first-rate educational, recreational and social classes that help enrich the lives of community members of all ages.

From my days with the Parks Commission to my time on the City Council, I’ve always believed that a healthy Santa Clarita is a happy Santa Clarita, and the smiling faces at our community centers are proof.

Each state-of-the-art facility offers a mix of fun activities and vital resources: from after-school programs for youth, to technology classes that help people better navigate the digital world, our community centers consistently offer programs that benefit Santa Clarita residents.

The Newhall and Canyon Country community centers will provide several new and returning programs in 2014 for a virtually unlimited range of low- and no-cost programming aimed at keeping residents active and inspired all year long.

The Canyon Country Community Center first opened its doors on Jan. 12, 2013, and in one year has gained more than 1,550 active members. The center is home to the only XerPro Sports Wall in Los Angeles County, which features an interactive, touch-activated wall that helps improve sports skills and keeps kids active indoors, and it is the only facility in Santa Clarita to offer the popular POUND Rockout Workout fitness classes for adults.

This year, community kids under seven years old can enjoy free “drop-n-play” on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Canyon Country Community Center. Residents can also book the center on Saturdays or Sundays for fun-themed birthday parties.

Additionally, parents can celebrate Valentine’s Day together with Parent’s Night Out/Kids Night In ($15), which entertains kids with dinner, a movie, crafts and games at the Community Center while parents enjoy a night out.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Canyon Country Community Center will take its fun on the road with an all-day excursion to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library featuring “SPY: The Secret World of Espionage Exhibit.”

The excursion is available at $28 for adults and $24 for children including transportation and admission.

The Newhall Community Center is offering several fantastic programs in 2014, all located in the heart of Santa Clarita’s most historic neighborhood.

Here, residents ages five and above from across the city can take part in numerous educational, recreational and enriching experiences, including L.E.A.P. (Leisure Enrichment Activities Program), a popular after-school program that is available in two sessions during the school year to provide homework help, arts, crafts, games and computer time.

The Newhall Community Center offers several specialized programs to suit different age groups. Kids age 5-12 can stop by for creative art, music and movement activities, organized games and more with Saturday Drop-In programming, held Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Local youth ages 13-17 can also shape their future with the center’s dynamic Teen Program, which offers homework assistance and the chance to socialize with peers and participate in activities and community service projects that encourage education, smart choices and a healthy lifestyle.

Several creative programs are available at the Newhall Community Center, including its popular beginning and intermediate strings music workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a new program scheduled for 2014 called Creative Circle.

Spanning eight Saturdays, this fun workshop will stretch attendees’ creativity with crafts like sewing, knitting, painting and art creations, all using recycled materials.

The center’s current boxing programs will also continue into 2014, including Boxing Fitness classes for adults and kids 8 and older, and Introduction to Boxing classes that provide skill and technique development, circuit training and drills in special sessions for adults and kids.

Santa Clarita’s community centers also provide a great place for inter-generational gatherings. Once a month, the Newhall Community Center hosts free family events that bring together family members of all ages for a fun and interactive time.

From grandparents to grandchildren, attendees can bond over movies, dancing, music and more while surrounded by friends and neighbors.

For more information, including pricing and scheduling details for the Canyon Country Community Center, visit To learn more about the Newhall Community Center’s programming and pricing, visit

Laurene Weste is mayor of Santa Clarita.



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