Community Cafés ask: Are the kids all right?


Teenagers and parents are encouraged to take part in a new series of Community Café forums that will soon appear around West Marin. The first of these events, which includes a free dinner and childcare, will be held at the Lagunitas School on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Hosted by the West Marin Coalition for Healthy Youth, the cafés are designed to publicize programs available for youth that reduce the risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Currently there are three teen centers across West Marin—in the San Geronimo Valley, Point Reyes Station and Stinson Beach—that offer safe spaces and programs, such as job training, for teens. Will Hubert, the school coordinator for the San Geronimo Valley Community Center, said another goal for these events is to learn what the gaps are in programing. “We want to know what doesn’t exist,” he said. “We want youth to attend so we can hear from their perspective of what’s needed.” For example, when it comes to transportation, the Stage Coach program is successful, but doesn’t connect Bolinas with Point Reyes Station. The coalition is eager is learn about other potential issues facing West Marin youth so that they may begin plotting solutions. The West Marin Coalition for Healthy Youth began receiving yearly $40,000 grants from the county’s Health and Human Services department two years ago, and the idea is that these events would allow it to enhance and improve services. West Marin is the newest coalition to join a countywide program called the Marin Prevention Network, along with others in Mill Valley, Ross and Kentfield. “A successful event connects people to the coalition where they know about it and know it’s growing,” Mr. Hubert said. “We want an email list where we can send information; we want people to connect.” The first Community Café will be held in the Multi-purpose Room at the Lagunitas School on Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. The second will be held in Point Reyes Station on Feb. 6. Young adults ages 16 to 25 will be paid $30 for their participation in a café. For details, call (415) 488.4888 ext. 250.