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Talk About Town: Should the Teen Center Have a Membership Fee or Volunteer Requirement?

One Hartland resident believes that students should pay a small membership fee or be required to volunteer within the community to particpate at the teen center. Do you agree?

During Tuesday night’s township meeting, Hartland resident Barb Krueger addressed the board with questions regarding the teen center, Next Door.

“I remember when my parents brought me up, that there was no free lunch,” Krueger said. “And I’m just wondering how all of this is going to play out if those students continue to get something for free.”

Next Door is a free service currently offered to Hartland students in grades 7 through 12 with a “teen-driven” focus. 

Krueger raised the question of the possibility of having students pay a small membership fee or be required to volunteer within the community at places such as the Hartland Music Hall, the library or the schools.

“I just think that there should be something out there that they are very involved in,” Krueger said.

Responding to Krueger’s question, trustee Joe Petrucci explained that many of the teens involved with the center have already volunteered many hours helping to prepare the building for operation, saving the township “thousands of dollars in labor.”

“Your concern is well-noted,” Petrucci said. “And I think that part of our goal is to have that teen center self-supported as much as possible.”

Petrucci also emphasized that the idea of the teen center was to support the youth of community similar to how the senior center supports the older population as well.

“The teen center is set up basically the same way, it keeps the kids off the street in a safe environment, out of the elements and out of trouble,” he said. “As we support the seniors, I think we should support the youth as well.”

So, Hartland Patch wants to know: Do you think students should pay a small membership fee or be required to volunteer within the community to particpate at the teen center?

Tell us in comments.

In this Thursday morning feature, we want to hear your opinions about certain topics making headlines. We'll be looking for your feedback in the comment section weekly. And we want to know what the Talk About Town is in your circles. Email Tatum at tatum.ryan@patch.com and it could be a topic of a future Talk About Town.

Bob Black October 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM
This woman is trying to RUIN a good thing for our Heartland area children! She obviously has some issues. Make all the rules you have to at your own house. Give these kids a chance for positive interaction. Sounds like you really need some .
Hartland Dad October 19, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Whoa, Bob. I think you're a little harsh here. Barb has been a community volunteer for years and her motives are positive. . . . There's also no problem with the intent of encouraging personal responsibility and a sense of giving back. . . . I'm sure center organizers are seeking that in their activities outside of requiring them or a fee -- which as others have said and I agree could be detrimental to getting teens to participate.
Theresa Hayes October 19, 2012 at 10:40 PM
The center is a great thing for our community. The kids are safe and have a good time there. The center has a wish list of items they needed. We have donated different things to them, it helps offset costs.
Bob Black October 20, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Well maybe I was a little harsh. It is just that when I see a good idea happening for the kids I think it is great. When somebody wants to make up new rules for teens, when this place just opened, first give it a chance. I have two kids that went through our school system. I helped keep them involved with sports all through school up until graduation. I am thankful for the positive experience it provided. But many kids won't be able to do this. Having another place to go is important. Don't ruin it by trying to put rules on something you have no right to. Parents are supposed to instill values in our children not HER!
NotLazy October 22, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Road or park improvements

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