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Park district seeks students' input on Batavia Teen Center

BATAVIA – For the first time since the Batavia Teen Center was launched in the mid-1990s, the Batavia Park District is seeking feedback from those who use it.

"We've been doing the same thing for a while," Recreation Supervisor Kristin Bykowski said, noting attendance has been declining in recent years. "We really need to pick their brains."

Middle and high school students are invited to share their ideas during focus group meetings this week and next at the Peg Bond Center, 151 Island Ave., Batavia.

Meetings for high school students are set for 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 15.

Middle school students can share feedback from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Jan. 14.

Refreshments will be served, and all ideas are welcome.

"We want it to be a relaxed atmosphere," Bykowski said. "We want them to feel like they can speak up without having parents around."

Park district officials want to learn about the activities the students are interested in and what programs, clubs or special-interest groups they would like the teen center to offer, Bykowski said. The goal, she said, is to offer programming not available elsewhere in the community.

"We do not want to duplicate what's already out there," she said.

Current programming includes trips in the summer and Friday night activities that, on average, attract 35 to 60 kids, Bykowski said. She said low attendance forced the center to drop an after-school program.

While most of the activities are held at the Batavia Teen Center, 27 N. Prairie St., Batavia, those that require additional space are held at the Eastside Community Center on nearby North Van Buren Street, Bykowski said.

Teens can also submit feedback on the Batavia Teen Center's Facebook page, on the Batavia Park District's Facebook page and through forms available at the park district office, 327 W. Wilson St., Batavia, Bykowski said.

Later, Bykowski said, the park district will seek input from parents and community organizations.

The park district hopes to preview some of the ideas in its summer book with the goal of implementing programming by the start of the school year, Bykowski said.

For more information, call Bykowski at 630-406-5282 ext. 2162.

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