Local youth offering community outreach in downtown

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

For the remainder of the Carter County Car Show schedule, children in attendance now have a chance to kick back and relax with their peers.
TEACH BETA Club has partnered with Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition (CCDP) to offer a “Youth Outreach Center” inside the CCDP office in downtown Elizabethton. Jess Blankenship, sponsor of TEACH Beta Club, stated the program has been going strong over the past three weeks and continue throughout September and October.
Offering children in the community an outlet during the weekend is important, according to CCDP Director Jilian Reece.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time at Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition,” Reece said. “We wanted to have an event open to children during the hours of the car show downtown. The BETA students have really taken this project on and over the next two months; they will have a special event planned each Saturday night. It all involves food and a fun activity.”
The Youth Outreach Center is free of charge and scheduled to take place each Saturday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Activities currently on the docket include:
• Saturday, Sept. 23 – Xbox tournaments and pizza
• Saturday, Oct. 7 – Coffee house night featuring live music by Brielle Rathbun
• Saturday, Oct. 14 – Live music featuring DJ Drew Utterback
• Saturday, Oct. 21 – Movie night
• Saturday, Oct. 28 – Costume contest, candy and games
To go along with fellowship with peers, children also have the opportunity to learn more about preventative measures to take when it comes to drug and alcohol.
“Our goal is prevention, always,” Reece said. “We are happy to know the children will be in that space knowing they can having something to do in town and not having to go down a route that involves choosing drugs or alcohol.”
Reece added it was exciting to see children to ownership in activities in downtown Elizabethton. The hub of the center has been the focus of events by different organizations and will soon be bustling for the fall season with the annual scarecrow costume and trick-or-treating presented by the Downtown Business Association.
“My passion is my four kids,” Reece said. “They’re going to grow up in this town. It is important to me and the coalition to see downtown keep growing and be a perfect place for all our children for the coming years.”

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