2006-06-29 / Letters to the Editor

Exploring teen center options

The following letter was sent to the Town Council and copied to the Press:

On behalf of the Jamestown teens and the Conanicut Community Coalition (CCC), I would like to thank you for your recent support with converting the animal shelter into a teen headquarters. Your unanimous support made it very clear that you value the youth in our community and are willing to contribute to positive youth development.

The recent proposal to convert the use of the town garage prompted many questions about the direction of the newly formed Jamestown Teen Center, and was met with some opposition from members of the community. It also prompted the CCC to evaluate and discuss the future and sustainability of the Teen Center. The Rhode Island Foundation sees our first year as a complete success story, and hopes that our community can use their three-year grant to get the Teen Center up and running successfully.

Although we were very excited to move into our new space this summer, we have adjusted our schedule and will continue to use various resources and locations to be as productive as possible in the community. There have been discussions about an addition to the Community Center that would include a teen space. There have also been suggestions to look into the space used by the harbormasters clerk, but we would like to investigate all of our options and thoroughly discuss any opportunities available.

To do this, we have decided to hold a strategic planning session on Sept. 6, 2006 to solidify the shortand long-term goals of the program. With the recent resignation of Kathy Sipala, we plan to introduce the new superintendent to the CCC and invite him or her to participate in our program planning. We would also like to invite a representative from the Town Council to serve as a liaison to the council and the CCC, and to join us in strengthening the programs we have started. A collaborative effort is crucial to the future of the Jamestown Teen Center, and we hope to have your continued support as we move this project forward for the benefit of the community.

Thank you again for all of your support,

Melissa Minto, Jamestown teen coordinator

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