After School Arnold
When Walnut Creek moms Donna Perham and Tricia Carella got the ball rolling for an after-school center for young teens in Walnut Creek, they had no idea it would bring them face to face with the Governator. But a San Francisco Chronicle columnist’s piece about their plan caught Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attention, and he invited them up to Sacramento for a private meeting.
“The discussion was great, very relaxed,” Perham says. “He is a big proponent of after-school care, so he shared his insight on what he did with his programs in Los Angeles, and also listened and was interested in our plan here in Walnut Creek. We met with him for about 20 minutes. He also gave us a written endorsement for our center.”
The center, known as the Creek, opened its doors this month at Foothill Middle School—but kids from any school are welcome. “There are lots of elementary after-school programs,” Perham says, “but none for middle school kids, which is ironic because that is the age when kids need the most supervision.” The Creek has ping-pong and pool tables, a computer room, and offers classes in hip-hop, Microsoft PowerPoint, CPR, and babysitter certification.
The Creek is open Mon.–Fri. from 2:30 to 6 p.m. (1:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays) and costs $5.50–$6.50 per hour. Foothill Middle School, 2775 Cedro La., Walnut Creek, (925) 934-3324, www.thecreekyouthcenter.org .