CONWAY — The Conway Parks and Recreation Department is happy to announce that the Chip Kennett Teen Center will open on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The teen center is open to children in grades 6-8 in the towns of Conway and Albany.

The cost of is $30 per child, and you must register on line at conwayrec.com.

There is no deadline to sign up as enrollment is ongoing throughout the year. Coordinator Todd Gallagher said this year there will be a number of changes to the program “for the safety of your kids and our staff” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We would not proceed with this program if we did not feel we could provide it safely and still maintain the type of program that kids want to come and be a part of,” he said Tuesday. The teen center is scheduled to be open Tuesday through Friday evenings. “We will be dividing the program into sixth-grade evenings and seventh- and eighth-grade evenings,” said Gallagher. “Two nights a week for each group, then rotating every week.”

For example: sixth grader would meet Tuesday and Thursday nights one week, while grades 7-8 would meet Wednesday and Friday of the same week. The following week, the groups would swap nights with grades 7-8 on Tuesday and Thursday, while grade 6 would move to Wednesday and Friday. Gallagher said meal nights will be Thursday and Friday in order for each group to get a meal each week. Teen center times are 5-8:30 p.m. each night.

“We will look at extending the hours in November should attendance warrant it,” Gallagher said.

The teen center, according to Gallagher, will be using the guidelines that were in place for the summer program when it comes to safety protocol.

“Each child will be screened with questions and a temperature check upon arrival,” he said. “We will use an 8-1 ratio of members to staff. Our current capacity will be 16 members on any given evening. Masks will be required when walking through the halls from room-to-room and in situations where we can’t social distance. Once in a room or the gym, where we can social distance, masks may be removed.

“Our intent is to be outside as much as the weather will allow. However, we are fully-prepared to utilize our indoor portion of the teen center with multiple hand sanitization stations and cleaning areas.”

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