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Bradford, Vt., teen center delays opening until after pandemic

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/1/2020 8:58:05 PM
Modified: 4/1/2020 9:09:06 PM

BRADFORD, Vt. — Volunteers were all set to open a new teen center on Wednesday in downtown Bradford when COVID-19 hit the region.

Now, while the opening has been delayed until the coronavirus pandemic passes, organizers of The Hub are finding ways to connect with teens remotely.

“We have turned our focus on Facebook page and our website and providing resources and links to families and teens,” said Patrick Peters, a third-grade teacher at Bradford Elementary School who volunteers as The Hub’s executive director.

The Hub is located in the former Dusty Bottle location on Barton Street, which is right off Main Street in downtown Bradford. The center will be open to children ages 12-18 in Bradford; Newbury, Vt.; and Waits River, Vt. In addition to space for kids to safely gather, the center plans on offering cooking and finance classes in the future.

“There’s a need for it here in Bradford. If you’re not a kid who does sports, there’s not a lot for you to do outside going to the library,” Peters said. “I felt like there’s this need in this town that there has to be something more for these kids. I thought that we would be able to offer that.”

Peters started working on bringing a teen center back to Bradford about two years ago shortly after another teen center closed.

“It’s been interesting. It’s been a little challenging at times,” he said of the process. “We didn’t have a place and we don’t have money and we wouldn’t get money unless we had a space.”

The group formed an official nonprofit organization called Bradford Teen Center to raise the money. In addition to fundraising, they received a grant from the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation.

The Dusty Bottle location, which they are leasing, comes with pool and foosball tables, as well as a kitchen and TVs.

“When we saw it, it just made perfect sense for us to go to that space,” Peters said.

They are looking for additional items to furnish the space including lamps, area rugs and bookshelves.

“The running of it is going to be very dependent on volunteers,” Peters said.

Editor’s note: For more information about The Hub, visit bradfordteencenter.org. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.




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