Teen Center growing up
Teens who say there’s nothing to do in Truckee might want to take a second look at their options.
The Teen Center, an after school activity facility run by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, is extending its programming to include more students this year, with hopes of expanding further in 2006.
“We are offering more for teens than we have in a while, with several classes offered that kids can take at minimal costs,” said Dan O’Gorman, the recreation superintendent for the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District.
The center, which is open on school days from 2:30 p.m. 6 p.m. and costs $2 per day or $20 per month to attend, gives middle school and high school students the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as baby-sitting classes, wall-climbing, and video production.
Last year the center saw more than 20 teens everyday ” mostly sixth, seventh, and eight-graders. But Tye Warner, the all-in-one director, manager, and staff, at the Teen Center says he expects to double that number this year.
His visions for the future of the center are lofty ” more computers, programs, perhaps an entirely new facility ” especially considering that the program isn’t making any money, and some months struggles to break even. But he recognizes the benefit it brings to the community and its youth.
And he’s right. A table of tween-age girls at the center voiced their disappointment with the amount of after-school choices available for kids in Truckee, citing a lack of options like an arcade, bowling alley or theater. Now Warner said he is trying to bring those opportunities to them.
What teens at the center get for the price of their entrance includes a pool table, basketball court, video games, and movies, but even that is often not enough to hold the attention of today’s young sophisticates, Warner said.
So, for an additional fee, students can enroll in a number of classes. Shannon Hotchkiss, a seventh grader at Alder Creek, is currently taking the hip-hop dance class, which she claimed was the “most fun” class at the center.
“You get to learn new songs and dances, like ‘Thriller,’ and then you can do them at the school dances; and we have dance-offs,” she said.
New to the center this year will be an open-mic jam night for young musicians, poets and entertainers on the third Friday of every month, beginning Sept. 16. There will also be a new all-girls choir for sixth through 10th graders.
“We’ve had a really strong emphasis on sports programs and have realized that not all kids are into sports and want some other activities,” O’Gorman said. “By participating in at the teen center they stimulate creativity and foster leadership skills, and are less likely to get into trouble.”
After school transportation to the teen center runs daily from Alder Creek Middle School. Additional information can be found by calling the center at 582-7766.
Guitar 101: Sept. 26-Oct. 24 guitar lessons will be taught by Tye Warner, who is a member of the Truckee band Deep Pocket. Students must bring their own guitar. Cost is $35 for five weeks.
Stand-Up Comedy: Starting Sept. 13, teens can take part in stand-up comedy classes with local comedian Diana Alouise who will teach teens how to deliver jokes to a live audience of peers. Cost is $30 for five weeks.
Kayaking and Beach Sports: Sept. 21-Oct. 19 teens can kayak, play beach volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and more at West End beach at Donner Lake. Cost is $35 for five weeks.
Sierra Singers: Beginning Sept. 15, sixth through 10th grade girls can participate in a new choir program with vocal instruction by Sara Kuttel, a teacher at Tahoe Truckee High School and 30-year professional singer who was classically trained by the founder of the Nevada Opera and UNR vocal instructor. Cost is $75 per semester.
Hip-Hop Dance: Every Friday throughout the semester middle-schoolers can learn the hottest new dance moves at a hip-hop dance class taught by Danille McKenzie. Cost is $32 for four classes or $10 drop in.
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