The Division of Youth Services, in collaboration with Precinct 2 Rep. Shiela Babauta (Ind-Saipan), has revitalized an after-school program at the Tanapag Youth Center.
Last year, the center was open only three times a week from 3pm to 5pm. Babauta’s goal is to see the center open for more days and hours. She is working with DYS to keep the center open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 5:30pm.
Babauta thanked the Department of Community & Cultural Affairs and DYS for making this possible after both agencies allowed her office to adopt the after-school program of the Tanapag Youth Center.
However, with the ongoing austerity measures, she will be looking at other options to keep the center open on “austerity Fridays”—which falls on “payday Fridays.”
She said the after-school program will prioritize helping students with their homework. She is also planning on creating a “Big Brother, Big Sister” chapter at the center—a mentorship program for the after-school program participants, in which they can turn to someone for advice on life and other concerns.
“I always turned to my older siblings for advice, and that’s what the Big Brother, Big Sister chapter focuses on, and I would like to see that happen [at the center],” she said.
Babauta invites the community to support the after-school program as her office is currently looking for volunteers to help out. By the time the Public School System opens classes in September, she hopes the after-school program will already have a good number of volunteers.