The Division of Youth Services is working on reopening the Tanapag Youth Center, according to Vivian Sablan, director of youth services, during DYS’ guest appearance on the KKMP radio last Tuesday. The center’s reopening and an open house event at the center is slated for early October.
Joining Sablan on the radio Tuesday was Jennifer Tanaka, supervisor for DYS’ Family and Youth Enhancement Program, plus other DYS staff.
Sablan said that DYS is a “couple weeks” from finalizing a “rehabilitation and expansion project” that, once completed, will allow the Tanapag Youth Center to offer services similar to what is currently being provided at the Kagman Community Center through DYS’ Family & Youth Enhancement Program.
Currently, children can avail of an after-school program at the Kagman Community Center, plus programs focused on anger management, life skills, and avoiding substance abuse. For parents, DYS offers various parenting education services.
As for staffing at the Tanapag Youth Center once it reopens, Sablan said that DYS recently recruited four trained children’s program volunteers who will be involved with the children’s services provided through the FYEP and will aid in transporting DYS clients. Sablan added that one volunteer was recruited on Rota, and Tanaka added that two volunteers were recruited on Tinian.
In a phone call with Sablan on Wednesday, she said the reopening of the Tanapag Youth Center was made possible through a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that DYS applied for through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. Sablan also said that reopening the center was “a two-year project in the making,” and that the reopening project included building a new classroom and revamping existing parts of the center, allowing for many more programs to take place simultaneously.
Sablan said that she and DYS are “very excited” for the children and parents in the Tanapag/ San Roque/ As Matuis area, and clarified that the Tanapag Youth Center, like the Kagman Community Center right now, will be open to the public.