The Sandpoint Youth Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to provide a positive and enriching after-school environment where Bonner County 12-19 year olds can socialize safely and participate in activities designed to develop leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, and community awareness. Our goal is to help Bonner County youth turn those vulnerable, unsupervised afternoons into a springboard to success, building healthy eating and recreation habits, positive relationships, and learning new skills that will benefit them in the future.
Who We Are and What We Do:
Your donations help to fund various programs, daily activities, snacks and meals.
The Sandpoint Teen Center shares space with the Sandpoint Church of God at 221 S Division Ave, north of the high school. We welcome teens of all ages from seventh through the twelfth grades. With both supervised and self-directed activities, the staff and volunteers create an atmosphere of respect.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 2:30pm to 5:00pm, Wednesdays at 1:30pm start time. Here, the teens not only have fun but gain valuable experience as well. The center provides light meals and snacks each day.
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 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 center certificate. Our mentors can also assist the teen in getting their Idaho State food
There is something for each teen to enjoy at the Sandpoint Teen Center. The activities offered include ping-pong, board games, crafty items, books to read, and outdoor basketball. The Sandpoint Teen Center hosts bowling tournaments throughout the week. The bowling program offers award certificates and trophies for the most improved bowler weekly.
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 homebound people or raking leaves at assisted living homes. Our staff shares life skills with teens as needed, facilitates problem solving techniques and provides an ear when the teens need someone to talk to.
There are certain policies that are enforced at the center, such as no bad language, put downs or threats. Above all, respect of one another is what the staff requires. With a check in and check out policy, the center keeps track of those in attendance. They limit the use of cellphones, iPhones, iPods and other electronic devices. We realizes the importance of encouraging personal interaction, problem solving face-to-face and responsible use of technology. We do have a laptop for use on site for such things as; registering with the Department of Labor for job searching, resume help, etc.
With easy accessibility from most schools, we have grown in popularity since we opened as just a drop in center in 2004. At that time they averaged anywhere from 10 to 15 students each day. We have grown to having a paid director, an operations manger, three operations assistants, and two chefs. Today they average 35 teens per day. Roughly 80% of students who attend are middle school students and 20% are freshman and sophomores.
What is next for the Sandpoint Teen Center? In December of 2019 after our annual giving letter and fundraiser Breakfast with Santa we reached our goal of $5700 plus. This will allow to have a soft opening of being open on Fridays. Stay tuned for what our next goal is...
To have input or if you would like to volunteer:
please contact the Executive Director, JoAnna Quick, 208-946-6901.