Havre Daily News
The newly remodeled Teen Center has spurred bigger attendance, and the center has responded by offering longer hours.
Hours for seventh- through 12th-grade students will be extended on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“The kids requested it,” said Dawn Rathbun, director of teen programming for the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line, which provides activities specifically for teens at its Teen Center. “There was a need for this. It's somewhere for them to go a little bit longer in the day, and it's a safe place for them to be at night.”
Brooke McLean, 14, of Havre said Thursday the extended hours will give her a chance to hang out with her friends and work on her homework with her peers. One activity McLean participates in is a basketball game called Lightning, where the second person in line tries to make a basket before the first shooter does.
The Teen Center is part of The Club, an after-school teen program designed to be a safe haven for older students. The Club's hours are 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and 2 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
It's been two months since the Teen Center was remodeled. Rathbun said students have enjoyed the various activities available to them, such as playing video games, watching movies on a 64-inch big- screen TV and playing foosball and pool. The center also features a technology area for students to work on homework or for college preparation, and a snack area.
“The kids like all of (the activities). There's not one particular thing that I see more kids at,” she said.
Nathan Stuker, 16, of Havre said he enjoys playing pool and basketball at The Club.
“It keeps us out of trouble,” Stuker said. Along with the extended hours, The Club now offers Fifth Quarter Events from 8 to 11 p.m. on every Friday when a Havre High School team is playing at home. The next scheduled Fifth Quarter Events are tonight and on Jan. 27 at The Club. Rathbun said the fifth-quarter activities include playing basketball in the gymnasium, and having access to the snack bar and game room. The event is free for members. Nonmembers pay a $1 fee.
A teen dance has been scheduled for Feb. 4 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at The Club. There is a $2 charge for nonmembers. Membership at The Club is $10 for a year. A one-week trial membership is available for those wanting to check out the program.
Rathbun has been with the Boys & Girls Club for two years, and has been the director of teen programming for almost a year. She previously worked with special-needs children as a paraprofessional in the Support Center at Havre Middle School.
She said the extended hours and new center at the Boys & Girls Club are a benefit for teenagers along the Hi-Line.
“We're just letting them know that they have a place to go,” she said.
Rathbun said sand volleyball has been a big hit at the new outdoor play area, completed on Aug. 7.
Jacquese Bull, 14, and her 13-year-old brother, Jeremy Bull, said they most likely will take advantage of the extended hours.
“It's fun here and there's not really anything else to do in Havre after school,” Jacquese said.
She said she will usually do her homework or talk to friends.
“The kids are pretty close here,” Rathbun said.
One of Jacquese's friends, Donald Cox, 14, has been a Boys & Girls Club member for three years. He is a karate instructor there and he also plays basketball at The Club.
“There's not a lot of fun places to go in Havre,” he said. “I feel safer here than I do at Carpenter (Park).”
Rathbun said The Club is still having difficulty attracting older teens, those 16 to 18 years old. Those youths can drive and probably have other extracurricular activities, she said.
Allen Parsons of Havre is one of the older teenagers at The Club. The 15-year-old mainly uses the computers in the technology area of the center. Parsons said The Club has a lot of activities that would attract older teens.
“I'm open to suggestions from the community,” Rathbun said.
For more information about The Club, contact Rathbun at 265-6206, ext. 310.