IVROP sponsors fall festival for Valley foster kids


IMPERIAL – Ricochet Recreation Center treated local foster children to an afternoon of fun and games October 24 when Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program hosted a Fall Festival. In addition, the agency announced its new partnership with the Social Services of the Imperial Valley that is centered around early childhood development.

This event targeted foster youth between the ages of four and 18, giving them a chance to play, eat, and socialize with each other.

Not only did this event work as a marketing attempt to give the children an outlet to blow off steam, but it allowed the adults to gain training with the IVROP and Social Services program called “Rising Stars.”

“Rising Stars is a program that we have partnered with social services to provide academic tools to these children, to help them succeed,” said Luis Torres, program manager with IVROP.

The program includes a tutoring service enabling students from Calexico’s SDSU campus to volunteer their time to help the foster children learn and understand academics, but allowing the older students to be positive role models in their lives.

“With our program already working closely with Calexico School District, we strive to reach out to other districts, to help these students learn in a positive setting and prevent any of them from slipping through the cracks,” added Torres.

This new Rising Stars program will also help link these foster children and their families to other early childhood development services to show them the importance of staying positive and working towards a higher education.

Closing out the afternoon of fun, everyone gathered in the event hall of Ricochet to discuss all the programs and which ones will work best for each specific child. Attendees were also treated to dinner to end the showcase of the new academic program.