Grand Bank Main Street Youth Centre

Submitted by Travis Parsons
Gbmainstreet
The Main Street Youth Centre was established in 1996 when a local businessman (who volunteered as an auxiliary police officer), along with the local sergeant identified a need in the community to have a safe place for young people to hang out. The popularity of this youth centre made national news as it was one of the first such places in Canada.

In 2001, the Main Street Youth Centre was moved to a new location in town and became a member of the Community Youth Network (CYN) of Newfoundland and Labrador.

At the Main Street Youth Centre, we mainly serve youth from ages 12- 18, but also offer programs and activities for youth ages 7-11and 19- 29. Our centre strives to be the hub for all youth engagement in the Grand Bank, Fortune, and Lamaline areas. All CYNs are different. Our CYN has had great success in a few unique areas.

We developed a very detailed ball hockey league in 2006 that allows youth to be drafted to a team in junior high, and remain with this team for all of their high school years. This program is designed to be all inclusive as everything is free. We have seen successes with confidence building, setting and achieving goals, as well as helping some students improve their school attendance.

In November 2010, we established a “Film Group” where youth come together to plan, shoot, edit, and premiere short films. We started out with a short film about military based video games, followed up with a bigger production in the theme of a ‘haunted youth centre’. Based on these successes, we partnered with the local high school in Grand Bank to obtain funding from Eastern Health to develop a 30 minute documentary style dramatization about a local young man who suffered a horrible accident after a night of drinking. This film reached over 4000 views in less than a week. It was filmed with approximately 80% of cast and crew being 18 and under, and helped inspire more young people to get involved with the program.

On the heels of the success of our latest short film, we again obtained funding to create a series of promotional videos to showcase the Grand Bank Summer Festival. The youth involved in our film group worked alongside community volunteers as the CYN was a partner with the Grand Bank Special Events committee for this project. So far it has been a success by how the youth have connected to the adult volunteers who are the backbone of our community.

It is with funding from organizations like Eastern Health and the Wellness Coalition that helps make such programs possible. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to tell the stories that can make youth think about the risks of drugs and alcohol, or not be able to connect youth and adult volunteers together to create something to improve a sense of community. These valuable opportunities are what make our youth centre a success.

To view any of the Main Street Youth Centre’s film projects visit http://www.youtube.com/user/GrandBankCYN

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