TICONDEROGA – The Ticonderoga YMCA Teen Center is a local treasure, its director says.
Teen Center Director Jackie Palandrani said the facility is open six days a week for those in 6th through 12th grade.
Kids from any town may use the center for free, she said.
“It’s the great unspoken secret in Ticonderoga,” Palandrani said. “It’s a wonderful place for the kids to come to. Kids come here and straighten themselves out. The place is important to them.”
The center is operated by the Town of Ticonderoga and the Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center in the Ticonderoga Town Armory at 123 Champlain Ave..
“We have wi-fi, ping-pong,” Palandrani said. “We have an after-school program. There’s Movie Night, Dodge Ball.”
Movie Night is 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 18, while Dodge Ball is 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. A full calendar is online at www.silverbay.org.
The center is supported through donations and the town and Silver Bay.
The center has 30 to 50 kids at any given time, Palandrani said, and teens can sign themselves in and then out.
“It’s a drop-in program; come anytime,” she said. “It’s all free.”
They put flyers on bulletin boards at schools, and send calendars out, she said, to let teenagers know what’s happening at the center.
Members of the Teen Center helped out at the recent Ticonderoga End of Winter Carnival.
“They give back by volunteering,” Palandrani said.
The center is open from the first day of school until the first week in June, including over breaks, snow days and early dismissals.
The Teen Center is open 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; an additional 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; an extra 7 to 9 p.m. for grades 6-12 and 9 to 11 p.m. for grades 9-12 on Friday; and Saturdays 2 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. for grades 6-12 and 9 to 11 p.m. for grades 9-12.
“It’s a great program for the kids,” Palandrani said. “They love it.”