Local Treasures with Pia: Spark Central is expanding in more ways than one

Spokane, Washington – Spark Central in Kendall Yards is growing. That’s great news to anyone who has ever peeked inside this uber creative space for at 1214 West Summit Parkway, full of Legos and books and computer stations and musical instruments.

Program Director Wilson Faust said that the non-profit is very excited about the additional space right next door.

“We got the physical space right next door to the original Spark Central,” Faust Said. “We intend to use it for additional programming, but we are not sure if it’s going to be one program or several new initiatives.”

Spark Central’s programs are mainly for children, youth, and families, but that may change a little. In October, a financial literacy workshop conducted by Canopy Credit Union will be one of the first programs to take place in the new space.

“Yes, that’s obviously for parents, who will have the option to leave their children in our main space, where staff and volunteers will take care of them,” Faust said.

While Spark Central prioritizes work with Title 1 schools in the West Central Neighborhood, programs and workshops in Kendall Yards are open to anyone no matter which neighborhood they live in.

Drop in and draw workshops have just started and there are ongoing Minecraft Club activities, as well as frequent story times and readings by local authors. Science and writing also have drop in dates, some for youth and families and some for teens.

“We are always trying to expand the impact we can have on the community,” Faust said.

In October, the publication of the West Central Express, a student-organized and operated school newspaper based at Holmes Elementary School begins again.

“We have about 15 students in that program, and we are there two times a week,” Faust said. “It’s the only school newspaper at an elementary school that I am aware of.”

At Audubon Elementary School, Spark staff and volunteers put on a myth makers workshop twice a week, in which students get to create their own stories or performances using graphic novels or other powerful artistic expressions.

“They get to choose which stories they want to tell and how,” Faust said. “Sometimes they end up doing performances. It’s very empowering.”

At Avista, we recognize our unique position gives us the chance to contribute in an impactful way and make a real difference in people's lives. Since 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $13 million to organizations that support vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. For more information on grant applications and geographical areas covered, please visit avistafoundation.com.

To learn more about how to volunteer at Spark Central or to see the list of fall programs and workshops, visit spark-central.org.

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