The staff and volunteers instruct the teens on the basic skills of meal planning, shopping and food handling practices and help guide them when it comes to making healthy choices. “A culinary art certificate is offered to the teens for working in the kitchen. By preparing six meals for the others, including passing three food handling tests and clean up, they are offered $25.00 and a food handling certificate,” explained Avery.
There is something for each teen to enjoy at the Sandpoint Teen Center. The activities offered include ping-pong, Wii tournaments, Foosball, air hockey and board games. The Sandpoint Teen Center hosts checker tournaments, Geocaching and bowling team practices throughout the week. The bowling program offers award certificates and trophies for the most improved bowler weekly.
But there is more. “With a great variety of craft projects offered, it provides opportunities for the teens to explore their artistic talents,” said Avery, adding that they also have the benefit of demonstrations from the community that include the Sandpoint orchestra program, which visits the center sharing with teens information on lessons, programs and musical instruments.
What is perhaps most intriguing about the Sandpoint Teen Center is their community outreach program. Designed to teach the teens the value of giving back to their community and working together to achieve a common goal, the projects include shoveling snow for home-bound people or raking leaves at assisted living homes. Avery explains that the Sandpoint Teen Center staff shares life skills with teens as needed, facilitates problem solving techniques and provides an ear when the teens need someone to listen and have interesting topic discussion.