As a person who is interested in influencing a better future Sly Best, founder of I Support My Community, hopes to open a teen hangout in Elkin. As a study first program teens will be encouraged to develop good habits while at the same time it will also help them develop marketable skills as they manage and maintain the facility with the guidance of Best and other adult volunteers.
Best has created a Go Fund Me page to help raise money to establish the hangout at 207 E. Main Street in Elkin. As a 501(c)3 I Support My Community will be able to apply for grants to help with educational items, however donations will be required for the entertainment items such as televisions and gaming consoles as well as the activities participants can earn by working.
In order for kids to participate in the entertainment they will have to spend 30-40 minutes studying which can be reading, homework or working on subjects in which they need help according to Best who has arranged for interns from Surrey Community College to help students.
After studying teens will be able to play Xbox1 or Play Station 4 on one of 5 large screens, play games, or do other activities. Two other screens will be available for viewing. Best hopes for donations of additional entertainment as well.
As well as hanging out, participants will be eligible for field trips schedule every few months to such places as Carolina Panthers Games, dance recitals and other activities to which kids may not normally be able to attend. Best stated, “the purpose is to give the kids initiative.” I Support My Community will cover all costs for these trips including admission fees, transportation and refreshments.
Kids will have to work cleaning up, monitoring materials, working concessions, marketing and other activities where they will learn skills which will help them later in life. “We will let the kids take care of it. They will have to keep it running and functioning in such a way that they want to keep it. If they want this vision to continue, they have to work for it,” explained Best. “It will be an achievement to keep it open.”
Recently a television has been donated and another TV, a PlayStation and an X-Box have been purchased thanks to contributions. Funds are still needed for three more TV’s, three PlayStation 4’s, and 10 gaming chairs. Anyone donating an item will have their name posted near that item with other significant gifts being posted in the window front.
Best projected, “the way it’s going we can be open mid-February.”
For more information or to make a contribution go to ismcommunity1.wixsite.com/ismc or www.facebook.com/ismc1.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.