Church and youth center team up to provide respite for parents

March 31 – For parents, some hurdles to a date night include finding a babysitter you can trust and the cost of hiring them.

Parents Night, hosted on the first Friday of each month by Reedsville United Methodist Church at the Preston County Youth Center, can help.

“It’s just time for parents to go out at night. And to make sure the kids are in a safe place where they can play games, we have crafts, we have a meal, and we do a little devotional,” said Pastor Lisa Fox.

“And so yes, the parents have an evening for themselves.

Tomorrow, parents can drop off their children from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and spend time together, home alone or in the evening.

Fox said the event has grown every month, and in March the event attracted 52 children.

Ultimately, it’s about building relationships with the kids, Fox said. The church is not just a structure but part of the community and the youth center is an extension of the ministry.

“It’s just a great space where people can bring their kids and know they’re in a safe space and enjoy the evening,” she said.

PCYC director Glenn Larew said the parent night was a great experience.

“Kids, it’s never a problem with a wide variety of ages, interests, all interacting and flowing together seamlessly,” he said. “It’s just beautiful. And that’s what you want the world to be.”

The youth center used by community groups such as the church is part of Larew’s vision.

Parent of two and grandparent of four, Larew says, as wonderful as kids are, it’s great when parents spend a night alone together.

“It is, it helps a marriage to have time to go out and reconnect without all the distractions, wonderful as they are,” Larew said. “It’s nice to be away where you can just work on your own relationship.”

There is a sign-in and sign-out sheet, but pre-registration is not required, Fox said. However, since a meal is provided, anyone whose children have food allergies should contact Fox ahead of time at 304-771-1060.

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