Teen Center opens for school year
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Sep. 8, 2011
As the new school year starts, so does the season for the Academy Teen Center, which held an open house event on Sept. 6 for interested parents. The center is open to students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and buses are available after school from both Smith Middle School and Gideon Welles School. Daily passes are $4, but most families take advantage of the $59 pass for the entire school year.
“It’s another option,” said Teen Center Director Katryna Albert. “If they are not involved in after-school sports or clubs, there’s something else out there for them to do. We try to encourage group activities like board games and cards, even sitting down and socializing with the staff and talking about their day.”
Albert added that the center tries to accommodate activities that the teens are interested in, and takes part in community service activities. The center also encourages creative ideas and assistance from the teens and their families.
The center will have the same hours as in previous years – Wednesday through Friday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. – and offers a variety of games, activities and homework help. Besides the several pool, ping-pong, air hockey and foosball tables, there are also computers with Internet access for homework help, and Playstation and Wii video games.
Albert said the number of teens that come isn't large, but the group becomes tight-knit. “We had a smaller group last year, but it was like a little family, which is nice,” she said.
Once-a-month field trips are a new addition to the center's activities this year, including visits to Lake Compounce and East Windsor Golf & Track. Trips are also open to ninth-graders.
In conjunction with the town's Social Services, the Teen Center has also started a Locker Room program, which matches local children who need sporting equipment with the items they need. Currently, soccer cleats, shin guards and balls are available, as are basketballs and basketball shoes. “If we don't have what they are looking for, we do our best to locate things for them,” Albert said.
The center also holds Friday Night Club events for people with special needs, age 16 and up. Upcoming events include a trip to Bowl-o-Rama in Newington on Sept. 23, and a Club FNC Dance Party on Sept. 30. There will also be a Ghoulish Gala Halloween Party on Oct. 28.