From how to calm crying toddlers to delivering more than 26 programs in 9 locations, over 120 University of Waterloo students had the opportunity to get hands on experience delivering programing designed for the community. On Saturday November 22, second year Recreation and Leisure students hosted Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest in partnerships with the Stork Family YMCA, and John M Harper Branch of the Waterloo Public Library. Activities ran from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and saw around 200 participants from the local community.
As part of the curriculum, we had the whole fall term to get into groups and quickly start brainstorming ideas for how the day was going to go. We were asked to prepare activities for children ages 2-12 year old and for a group of second year student, trust me when I say it was a hard task to complete. We had to think back to when we were that age and what games and crafts we did, and build appropriate activities within the resources that we had to work with.
The staff and volunteers at the Stork Family YMCA, and the John M Harper Branch, were more than welcoming to our class. It’s important that we get involved with the community because as students we often take for granted the people that help us grow. When I was young I never really thanked all my instructors or teachers for the opportunities they were giving me. Our involvement in the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest really makes a difference, it not only bring joy to us the students but I think it also lets the community know that we all were young once. I think I speak for not just myself but the rest of my classmates that being able to participate in Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest was much more then getting a grade in a class, it was about providing a range of drop in activities for the whole family and providing a day to just have a fun indoors.
The Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest is free event open to the public hosted at the Stork Family YMCA, and John M Harper Branch of the Waterloo Public Library. This event brings students who may only live in Waterloo for 4 years into an established to build and creating special memories, making connections, and showing the community what recreation and leisure students have to offer. It was a very rewarding experience and if I could, I would participate the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest every year.