Survey will focus on new youth program

ELKINS — A survey is being conducted by the Phil Gainer Community Center to collect information about community interest in an after-school program for middle school-aged students.

Chris Lee, facility manager of the Phil Gainer Community Center, said leaders at the community center are looking for ways to benefit youth in the community.

“We are a community center — as such, it is a priority that this facility operates in such a way to benefit the community — especially the youth,” Lee said.

Because the community center is located next door to Elkins Middle School, he said he believes it is “sensible” to look into the possibility of offering an after-school program for the students.

“The purpose of this survey is to gauge interest — and collect information — for the potential implementation of a free after-school program at the Phil Gainer Community Center for Middle School age children,” he said.

Lee explained the questions included in the survey are to determine interest in the program in addition to collecting “insight” from parents and teachers on how best to organize the program in an effort to enrich the lives of all students who participate.

“I believe that a program like this one is needed to fill a programming void in the community — it will be interesting to see if the general public agrees,” he said. “More so, it will be very helpful to have quantifiable results while finalizing how the proposed program would be funded.”

The survey is open to everyone and may be taken anonymously; however, Lee encourages individuals taking the survey to include their contact information so they are able to receive updates about the program and its progress.

“I strongly encourage all parents who have children in middle school or younger to go online and fill out this survey,” Lee said. “If your child would participate, let us know. If they wouldn’t participate, let us know. It will literally take you less than three minutes to complete.”

Anyone interested in taking the survey may do so by visiting