The Middle Earth Community Youth Centers provide a safe and supervised place for any youth between the ages of 12 and 18 to gather, interact positively with their peers, and talk to caring adults. Youth are able to “walk-in” during Center hours. We offer three Centers:
Bound Brook Community Youth Center.
Located at the Codrington Park Field House, this Center is open Monday thru Thursday 3-7 p.m. and Friday 3-8 p.m.
Somerville Community Youth Center.
Our Somerville Center is located in the First Baptist Church at 132 W. High Street in Somerville, and is open Monday and Wednesday 3-7 p.m. and Friday 3-8 p.m.
This Center is available to all students at the Somerset County Vocational-Technical High School throughout the year during school hours. Middle Earth offers recreation and outreach services to the students in order to provide safe and positive leisure activities and identify youth who are in need of special services.
Benefits of our Youth Centers
Our Centers become a "home away from home" for many kids, a place to go instead of "hanging out" on the street. Teens who are unsupervised during afterschool hours are 37% more likely to become teen parents and 49% more likely to use drugs. Juvenile crime triples during afterschool hours. By engaging youth in fun activities during these times, we help them avoid these risky behaviors. Additionally, our staff strive to provide a support system to youth who would otherwise not have one, in the hopes of intervening prior to troubled behavior.
Our comprehensive service centers provide an array of benefits to youth all in one location, including:
- positive recreation (such as pool table, ping pong table, TV, VCR, stereo, exercise equipment, board and video games, basketball, arts and crafts materials, cameras, computers, sound booth equipment and a bulletin board of planned activities),
- caring and supportive adults who act as role models and mentors,
- leadership training,
- community service opportunities,
- crisis intervention and referral services,
- employment readiness (teaching skills to improve marketability in the workforce),
- informal counseling,
- life skills center (e.g. cooking, obtaining a driver’s license, financial literacy, independent living), and
- transportation to the centers, if needed.