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The Van Buren Youth and Community Center serves the youth and community of Carter County. We provide a safe and drug, alcohol, and tobacco free environment to nurture the future of our community through programs and activities that promote learning, self confidence, and health and stress the values of family and volunteerism. We work to better our community with programs and opportunities for education, fitness, and nutrition to create a happy and healthy workforce for our economy.
In the late '90s, Van Buren R-1 students were surveyed by the HOPE Council to assess their needs and wants for our community. There was an overwhelming response from the youth to have a safe haven - a place where they could enjoy life without the peer pressures of alcohol and drugs. The community responded and created the Van Buren Youth Center Coalition, a group of individuals representing all aspects of our community with the common goal of helping the youth in our community. Their dreams were realized on May 12, 2000 when the Van Buren Youth and Community Center opened its doors for the first time. Our original mission was to offer services and activities in a safe and pressure-free area for youth but over the last decade, we have been able to expand to serve their families and our community. We partner with local businesses and organizations to provide events focused on the family. We work with Whole Health Outreach and the Carter County Health Center to teach our community about health, fitness, and disease prevention. We are currently able to host 3 free exercise classes that meet a total of 5 days and evenings a week. Our building is equipped with a fitness center that is available to members for low monthly or yearly rates. We open our doors every Wednesday after school to host free skating for all area students. We work with the Van Buren High School to staff an afterschool program for elementary students every school day until 5:00 pm. We have been a strong presence in our community for 10 years and are working to remain a vital part of our small rural area.
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