CHARLOTTE, Mich. — A local center offering a safe space for teens to spend their time has just received over $100,000 in grant money, and it's going to mean a lot to the people who use the center.
The Eaton Rapids Teen Space has been operating inside of Union Street Elementary since 2018.
The center has all kinds of things for kids to do.
"We've got cooking and baking classes. We have wood shop that's open every Wednesday. We also have free guitar and ukulele lessons," said Executive Director Adam Droscha.
Hundreds of kids use the center each year, which has caught the attention of the Michigan Department of Education and a couple other organizations who are awarding grant money to the programming.
Seventh-grader Laraia Baumgart says she knows how the grant money should be used.
"Probably to buy sports equipment or better snacks. They're a little weird," said Baumgart.
Her colleague, Finnegan Ackles, says he likes the food and activities at the center.
"There's a bunch of free food, and I also like to play dodge ball and watch the sixth graders fall over," said Ackles.
Leaders at the center say it helps kids on many different levels.
"We're not just here for fun and to give kids another outlet, we're here to be a stable institution in the community that is actually meeting health needs," Droscha said.
The center is planning to build a new space in 2024. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 million.
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