The Niles Teen Center has created a task force of adult community members and area teens with the goal of establishing a Village-wide network that will champion this generation of middle and high school students, support them through the current global pandemic, and initiate community building opportunities within the teenage population in the months to come. As the Niles Teen Center and other community youth organizations seek to create new programming in light of current social distancing guidelines, the NTC Task Force will provide a foundation of leadership and the inspiration for future online and in-person programming that can serve Niles-area students into the years ahead. Comprised of both an adult and a student team, the NTCTF began meeting virtually May 13th and continues meeting via Zoom on a weekly basis. The NTCTF student team is comprised of thirteen middle and high school students nominated by area teachers and administrators, representing Nelson, Mark Twain, Apollo, Culver, Maine East, and Niles West High School. The NTCTF adult team is comprised of fourteen community leaders representing the Niles Teen Center, Niles Family Services, Maine Township, District 63, District 71 Culver, District 219 Niles West, District 207 Maine East, the Niles-Maine District Library, the Niles Park District, and CityLine Bible Church in Niles. They are uniquely qualified to serve in this role as Niles residents, social workers, therapists, administrators, teachers, coaches, librarians, Park District directors, and youth workers committed to middle school and high school students. The first joint project of the NTCTF is a community-wide summer programming campaign aimed at providing virtual and in-person activities/events following the new Restore Illinois guidelines. The Village of Niles website www.vniles.com will host a landing page and information hub, linking activities for teens from each community organization’s website. Forthcoming information will be available on the Village of Niles website.
NTC Summer Programming
The Niles Teen Center will be hosting weekly virtual activities, challenges, and interactive games, as well as outdoor summer events and competitions throughout the coming months and in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Check the NTC website and their Instagram, Facebook, HouseParty, and YouTube social media channels for program information.
Niles Teen Center Virtually Pivots to Connect with 5th Grade Classrooms
Plans for a special village-wide fifth grade cultural arts presentation pivoted from a live in-person assembly to a video presentation and online classroom calls. In the final weeks of school, Coordinator Michael Trevino was able to virtually meet with twelve fifth grade classrooms to encourage over 150 students during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The outreach inspires students to face the challenges of transitioning from elementary school to middle school with the support of their parents, guardians, teachers, and even the NTC staff. The presentation includes a pre-recorded segment where Michael Trevino breaks a stack of concrete bricks, symbolizing students’ ability to overcome the “walls” and challenges that they face. Students who register will receive a personally delivered care package containing a physical reminder of the presentation and were invited to attend a virtual year-end celebration hosted by the Niles Teen Center featuring Chicago’s own Comedy Sportz.
The classroom presentation is available for viewing by the general public on Niles TV, the NTC website, and their social media channels.
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