By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The past couple of months raised great concerns about safely and productively occupying the time of young people in Gadsden and the surrounding communities.
When the local Boys and Girls Clubs closed earlier this summer, the Etowah County Youth Council was formed, bringing together the staff of the Cherokee-Etowah-DeKalb Mental Health Center and other agencies to find programs for young people.
Fortunately, the Boys and Girls Clubs will reopen, but the effort to examine other options uncovered a real communication gap about other programs that do exist.
Sheila Hurley of CED said the council found there were already a number of program and activities for young people, but many parents didn’t know about them. Similarly, there are many activities that would benefit young people, but word is not always getting out to the communities about them.
“There is a lot going on,” Hurley said, “but people don’t have information about it.”
The Etowah Youth Council is trying to alter that, but improving communication.
Derrell Richardson, also from CED, said the Etowah Youth Facebook page will be updated with information about various activities – many free, some not – in the community that might be of interest to young people.
“We try to put as many things as we can on the page to try to communicate to youth, to let them know there are things to do besides sitting at home,” Richardson said.
“A lot of people have no idea what’s going on out there,” Hurley said.