Kellie Bennett, executive director of the Red Barn Youth Center. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

Kellie Bennett is the new executive director of the Red Barn Youth Center.

Bennett started with Red Barn in November 2016 as a program assistant. She officially assumed the director role in December after filling in since June.

“We are here to provide a safe place for middle schoolers and high schoolers to come after school,” Bennett said. “It’s not only a place to get homework done, but a safe place to hang out with their friends. We also provide a hot, full meal every day.”

“Kellie is very capable and naturally moved into the directorship role,” Peter Hedin, RBYC board president said. “It was an easy decision to recognize her accomplishments. We’re thankful to have a first-rate staff.” 

Red Barn provides monthly presentations from the Pierce County Library and some craft activities. There are also basketball and volleyball courts, a foosball table, ping pong and air hockey. “And we’ve been doing a lot of chess lately,” Bennett said. There are 30 kids a day attending on average.

“Prior to coming here I taught financial literacy with Junior Achievement,” Bennett said. “I know there are so many students who are just trying to survive middle school, and I am excited that I can be part of a center that wants them not just to survive but have some great experiences, whether that is learning how to do life skills, such as work in a garden or cook their own food, or just getting time to know there’s other people out there, whether it’s their friends or adults, that want to spend time with them and want to listen to them.”

Red Barn Youth Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, opened in September 2014. It’s open Monday through Friday during the school year from 2:30 to 6 p.m. It is located at 5921 84th Street NW, south of Key Center. For more information, call 253-884-1594 or go to www.redbarnkp.org.

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