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Essex Youth Centre opens for tutoring, after renovation


by Sylene Argent

Last week, after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an exciting renovation, the Essex Youth Centre was able to reopen to offer free tutoring to youths in grades eight through 12.  

  The Essex Youth Centre will be open from Monday to Friday, from 2:30pm - 7:30pm, to offer the free tutoring sessions to students. Those wanting to take advantage of the opportunity must make an appointment, as a pandemic safety measure, which is different from last year’s drop-in option.

  The Essex Youth Centre temporarily closed in February because of COVID.

  Tauner Martin, one of the tutors at the Essex Youth Centre, said she and her co-worker, Lindsey Stein, will offer help in English, math, geography, history, science, biology, and chemistry.

  The two tutors available at the facility will conduct temperature checks, ask COVID-related questions, and will follow social distancing protocols to safely offer the service. Everyone in the facility will also be required to wear a mask.

  A lot of students may be struggling to complete or follow along with school work online. Having someone available to help them use the online platforms may be beneficial, she said, adding the centre has computers students can use, in addition to WIFI.

  “We are hoping, with the new ‘quadmester’ that we will be able to help more students,” Martin said of the tutoring service.

  Students looking for tutoring help can book their 45-minute appointment at Google Forms Link: https://forms.gle/NR9ptisL9kneLaqbA.

  Sandy Larivee, Executive Director of the Essex Youth Centre, said the tutoring is able to occur because the Canada Summer Jobs program agreed to change timelines. 

  She added the reopening of the Essex Youth Centre is taking place at a great time.

  “The place is looking really nice,” she said, noting the facility, which is located in the basement of the Essex Aquatics Centre, was a beneficiary of Lowe’s 2019 Heroes Project. Last year, Lowe’s collected donations at the till for the Essex Youth Centre. Through the “Lowe’s Heroes” program, the Essex Youth Centre received a new coat of paint on all its walls. The renovations started before the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently finished.

  Lowes staff, Larivee noted, did the painting, and the Essex Youth Centre was able to use part of the $7000 raised through the program to pay for the paint. With the remainder of the funds, new furniture for the facility was also purchased.

  “It was restored to how it was at the very beginning,” Larivee said, noting work began on creating the Essex Youth Centre facility 22-years ago, on January 1, 1998. It was officially opened in May 1999.

  Another new feature at the Essex Youth Centre includes the addition of a driving school run through a separate party.

  The Essex Youth Centre is a registered charity, and can provide charitable receipts for any financial donation, or for the purchase of items needed for the centre.

  “Donations are critical for us right now,” she said.

  Martin is hoping the tutoring service will be well utilized in the newly renovated space. “It is nice to have a brand-new look. We’re open, we’re refreshed, and we are ready to help,” she said.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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