DANNEMORA - The Village of Dannemora Youth Commission wants to know what programs teenagers would like to participate in and is going straight to the source.
Kristina O'Neill, the commission's director, said she's interested in learning what children ages 13-18 and their parents would like offered on a regular basis.
"We already offer sports. We just don't get the response," O'Neill said of the youth commission's summer programs.
The youth commission recently began offering open gym time Tuesdays from 6:30-8 p.m. at the former Dannemora Elementary School building on Emmons Street, open to children ages 8-18.
"I think the kids are going to love that - if we can get them there," she said.
However, O'Neill said she wants to know what more they can do for teens. She added she's especially interested in finding activities for teens during the winter months, considering unseasonably warm weather has made it impossible to create a skating rink for the 2009-10 season.
O'Neill said she already knows about one thing kids want in the community - a skateboarding park.
"I know they want a skate park and it's something we've examined," said O'Neill.
The costs of building the park and of necessary insurance aside, another potential speed bump is the location for the park.
"We really don't know where we'd put it," said O'Neill.
Some have suggested a spot at LaFontaine Park on Smith Street where tennis courts are proposed to be established, said O'Neill. However, because those plans are already in the works and grant funding has been secured for that purpose, that cannot happen, she said.
The idea hasn't been dismissed, though O'Neill said, for now, she'd like to focus on what programs the village can offer teens in the foreseeable future. The youth commission is very limited in its membership, especially in parents of teenagers, she added, making it necessary to get more input on decisions from the kids they will affect.
"I just don't know what they would come to but I'm definitely up to some ideas," said O'Neill. "We already do a really good job of meeting the needs of the younger kids, but if there's more we can do for this group, we'd love to help them out."
The youth commission meets the third Wednesday of every month, at the village office on Emmons Street, beginning at 6 p.m. Teens and their parents are encouraged to attend meetings to provide their input or contact O'Neill at 492-2606.
"I'd really like some parent commitment, too," said O'Neill.