Teen Access Zone “is about creating a space, a hub, where teens can access any number of resources, programs or services that will benefit their overall health and wellbeing,” says Louise Hopper, Teen Access Zone coordinator.
“We know that access to clinical health services is extremely important to our teens. But they (teens) also recognize that having a safe, confidential, fun space to call their own is just as important.”
Hopper says the teenagers will have access to computers to do their homework, exercise classes, trial gym memberships, support groups, academic and career counselling, mental health and addictions counselling, social nights and special events, physical activity-oriented video games, volunteer opportunities and more.
The centre has become a reality due to the hard work of a number of teenagers, adults and organizations. These groups recognized the need to increase access to health, wellness, recreational, social, and educational opportunities for teenagers in the community, says Hopper.
Teen Access Zone Teenagers Advisory Committee members designed the grand opening events. A Teen Pizza and Sundae Social is set for this Friday, March 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. for teenagers 12 to 18 years old. There will be free pizza and a make-your-own sundae bar. Teenagers will also be able to tour the centre, meet the staff, and take part in a number of other activities, including playing Xbox Kinect competitions!
An open house is slated for Saturday, March 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to drop by to see the centre. There will be an opportunity to meet staff, tour the centre, enjoy refreshments and enter a draw for door prizes. Anyone who is interested can also complete a volunteer application form.
“We will also be holding a fundraiser during our grand opening”, says Hopper. “Some of the centre’s walls have a brickwork design, so we are having a ‘Paint a Brick’ fundraiser.’”
Individuals, businesses and organizations can buy bricks and then be the artist. All money raised will support programming directly so there are no costs to the teenagers.
Brick prices are as follows: Business/organizations - $100 (per year or $500 for a Life Time brick); Adults - $50; Teenagers - $25. Half bricks are half price.
Anyone unable to go to the grand opening may contact the centre at 354-5508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org about visiting the site or taking part in the fundraiser. The centre is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teenaccesszone.