Some cool happenings going on for young students courtesy of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. From their Press Release:

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) is rolling out three programs dedicated to youth empowerment and development in Northern Berkshire County: the Youth Leadership Program, Teen Writing Workshop, and the debut of the Youth Empowerment Program for younger students. Each meets weekly, beginning the last week of October and running through the spring, both online and in-person at UNO Community Center in North Adams.

Tim Shiebler, nbCC Youth Development Coordinator, enthused about the new season of youth programming: “This has been a tumultuous time, since we had to prematurely end our programming earlier this year due to COVID. We are thrilled to be able to get back into the swing of programming. We’re looking forward to seeing new faces, and welcoming back returning participants to this year's programs.”

The Youth Leadership Program and Teen Writing Workshop have been a popular staple of nbCC's youth-development programming for over two decades, and hundreds of young people from Northern Berkshire County have attended.

This year marks the debut of the Youth Empowerment Program, which is uniquely geared toward a younger audience of students in grades 6 through 8. nbCC Youth Development Associate Carrisa Sacherski noted the necessity of additional programming for middle-schoolers: “We decided to create the Youth Empowerment Program because we noticed the gap in programming for grades 6-8 in North Berkshire. Our hope is to create a warm and welcoming environment for young people to talk through the pivotal points of navigating their teen years.”

As with all of nbCC’s programming this year, these three programs have incorporated new considerations and precautions that will preserve the health and safety of all involved, while still maintaining a supportive and intimate environment.

This year’s program will be limited to eight in-person spots, in addition to virtual spots, allowing adequate distancing for all attendees. nbCC will also be enforcing a mask policy at all times while indoors, as well as providing handwashing stations and sanitizer, individually wrapped snacks, and assigned work stations for each participant.

Program Details:

Youth Empowerment Program: A program for students in grades 6-8 and a space for young people to come together to talk through life, school, and navigating their teen years. There will be conversations, games, creating, and making new friends! It is open to all North Berkshire County middle schoolers and is free to attend. Every Monday from 3:30-5:00 pm, October 26-June.

Youth Leadership Program: A program designed for young people to explore and expand their leadership skills. Young people can expect to engage in activities and discussions around a variety of topics that are relevant to their experience. Everyone in the program will participate in planning community service projects, a community forum, and more. This program is open to young people ages 15-19 and is free of charge. Every Tuesday from 4:00-6:00 pm, October 27-June.

Teen Writing Workshop: This program is an opportunity for young people to gather, write, and share their work with peers. This workshop is designed to give youth the chance to explore their writing styles and hear feedback from fellow young authors and poets. No prior writing experience is required, and staff are available to assist and guide when necessary. Teen Writing Workshop is a chance to gain writing skills, explore writing as a means of expression, and create for the sake of creating. This program is open to young people ages 13-19 and is free of charge. Every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00 pm, October 28-June.

Limited in-person spots at the UNO Community Center (157 River St., North Adams) will be available for each program, as well as virtual spots via Zoom. Sign up at http://bit.ly/nbCCyouth. For more information, contact Tim Shiebler at tshiebler@nbccoalition.org or 413-663-7588.

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