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Ticonderoga teen center aids youth, town

Silver Bay operating new program

Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney speaks during the formal opening of the new Silver Bay YMCA teen center. The program, supported by private donations, is free to students. Silver Bay is renting space at the Armory for $1,500 a month.

Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney speaks during the formal opening of the new Silver Bay YMCA teen center. The program, supported by private donations, is free to students. Silver Bay is renting space at the Armory for $1,500 a month.

— A new youth program is providing teen-agers with fresh opportunities while saving Ticonderoga money.

The town has entered in to an agreement with the Silver Bay YMCA of provide an after-school program for students in grades 6-12 at the Armory on Champlain Avenue.

The program, supported by private donations, is free to students. Silver Bay is renting space at the Armory for $1,500 a month.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our local youth to receive quality programs with professionally-trained counselors,” Ti Supervisor Deb Malaney said. “It’s really exciting.”

The arrangement had been discussed for a year before it became a reality last October. A formal grand opening was held Jan. 16.

“It’s a wonderful irony that a building originally built to prepare for war has become a place of safety and fun for children,” said Jackie Palandrani, youth and teen director at Silver Bay YMCA. “I have long dreamed of a place where young people could go after school hours; a place that offered not only opportunities to play, but to learn, and to seek help, and to feel safe — a home away from home.”

The teen center is open Monday through Thursday 3 to 6 p.m. for students in grades 6-12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for high school students only. It is open Friday 3 to 6 p.m. for students in grades 6-12, 7 to 9 p.m. for middle school students and 9-11 p.m. for high school students. It is open Saturday 2 to 6 p.m. for grades 6-12, 7 to 9 p.m. for middle school students and 9-11 p.m. for high school students.

Ticonderoga Central School will provide transportation to the Armory after classes, Palandrani said, but parents must pick up students. The center will be open through June.

“We have a one year contract,” Malaney said. “After this year we’ll sit down with Silver Bay and evaluate the program. I’m optimistic we can continue it.”

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