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Summit to look at youth center

While growing up in western Nevada County, Chris Polcyn, 18, would go fishing or camping with his family or simply hang out with a friend.

But no place existed for young people to meet or interact in the community, he recalls, and the problem still persists.

“In this town, there is not that much for youth to do,” Polcyn said. “There needs to be more activities.”



To give Nevada County youth a safe place to meet and get involved in extracurricular and recreational activities, a task force of the Gold Country Community Council, a local nonprofit, is laying the groundwork for building a youth center. The target audience for the youth center is junior high and high school students, according to Sandy Jacobson, recreation and facility manager for the City of Grass Valley, .

On April 18, a Youth Summit will be held at the Nevada Union High School cafeteria from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to discuss issues related to forming the center.




“The purpose of the summit is to answer four questions,” said Beth Moore, chairwoman of the Nevada County Youth Center Steering Committee. “What youth services exist now? What youth services are still needed? What resources are needed to provide those services? Who has those resources?”

Jacobson said recreational opportunities that do exist in the area for youth are too costly for many families.

“It takes between $90 to $110 to get your child registered in the Little League,” Jacobson said. “Just think how much you’d have to pay if you had three children and got all the kids to play.

“There are several sports like youth soccer, youth softball, youth football, youth wrestling – all of which are costly for most families.”

Participating in school-sponsored sports in high school becomes more challenging as students from several middle schools feed into one high school with a limited number of spots on the teams, Jacobson said.

Jacobson is helping the youth center task force develop a facility in Grass Valley.

If the center comes into being, Polcyn would want it to host workshops and classes, have a small gaming facility and a dance floor. She also would want to organize field trips.

“We have been hearing from several local nonprofits and service agencies, such as the Rotary, who contacted us and said, ‘What can we do to get a youth center running in Nevada County?'” Moore said. “So we thought it was time to get all the groups at same table and make a plan.”

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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