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Independent Voice

Teen Center Ready to Reopen

Feb 02, 2023 12:00AM ● By By Debra Dingman

Members of the Dixon Teen Center board were on hand December 20 to accept a check for $10,157 from Don Highley (wearing hat) and wife Ellen (with sunglasses). The money was earned by Teen Center volunteers during the annual Pin-a-Go-Go pinball show at the fairgrounds in October "" and also included donations and proceeds from T-shirt sales (such as those worn by the Highleys, which were designed by Dixon artist Steven Oerding). Others present (l-r) were board member Jack Caldwell, board vice president Kay Cayler, board president Jerry Castanon, Sr., and board treasurer bil paul. Helping boost attendance at the event was publicity provided by KCRA TV in Sacramento. DTC courtesy photo

DIXON, CA (MPG) - A little too late for the 21 days students were off for the holidays and the Dixon Teen Center was closed but it’s never too late for it to be open all the rest of the year. The Dixon Teen Center is planning its reopening with a Meet and Greet on Friday, February 24, 6 p.m. at Gretchen Higgins Elementary, 1525 Pembroke Way.

“We endeavor to provide teens with positive experiences and opportunities that promote healthy development and success in teens’ lives,” states their mission statement on a poster announcing the event.

Some of the activities that will be available at the Open House are signups for an open gym, volunteering, and meeting the team behind the organization running it.

They may be all new. 

Since the pandemic, the small group of students that met in one of the classrooms at Dixon High School dissipated and, for the past two years, it was rumored that some students were playing basketball at one of the schools as part of the Dixon Teen Center organization but that could not be confirmed.

The Dixon Teen Center originally started with a group of like-minded individuals in the spring of 2011 when Pastor Cathy Morris ensured volunteers received CPR and first aid training and a strong base of volunteers was developed. It was run under the non-profit umbrella of Dixon Family Services and opened with fanfare in the old Dixon High School drama room.

Back then, the use of the teen center was limited to Dixon students attending grades seven through 12, and students needed to display student identification cards to get in free but over time, the teen center was mostly inhabited by middle schoolers.

A number of computers were obtained along with two pool tables, two ping pong tables, a foosball table, an Xbox and other computer games plus two big-screen TVs.

Numerous volunteers helped run it for years while some paid staff supervised until a few years ago when the group worked with the school board and was removed from the old Dixon High School building so it could be renovated as John Knight Middle School. The non-profit was given permission to use a Dixon High classroom.

However, during the pandemic, that space was closed and has remained so until now. During this time, two significant contributions from the Pin-a-go-go pinball event were made last year to help bolster future plans: one last January for $7,373 and one in December for $10,157 for the DTC volunteers.

Numerous attempts were made to reach Chairman Jerry Castanon and Board members to no avail.

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