Program volunteer and Hilti representative, Aimee Head, shows Bridge student, Martha Sikora, how to use a circular saw during a power tool program at The Bridge Teen Center. Supplied photos

Program volunteer and Hilti representative, Aimee Head, shows Bridge student, Martha Sikora, how to use a circular saw during a power tool program at The Bridge Teen Center. Supplied photos

Teen Center announces 120-plus new free programs

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A group of teens work on a Thanksgiving craft in The Bridge Teen Center Art Studio during a Friday Night event.

The Bridge Teen Center is starting 2023 off right with a new semester of free holistically-designed programs for teens. All afterschool programs are free to teens in seventh- to 12th-grade and can be found in their Winter/Spring Program Magazine at www.thebridgeteencenter.org.

Some exciting programs include Woodworking: Plant Stands, Yoga & Smoothies, Behind the scenes at Old Navy, Abstract Painting, Rockets & Gliders, Fire Science and more. Many local community businesses and organizations are partnering with The Bridge to lead student programs including:  Robison Engineering, Sentient Soul Yoga Therapy, Taproot Farms, Civil Air Patrol, and Moraine Valley Community College.

Students can also sign-up to join the “Thriftastic” job readiness program, which is offered in partnership with The Bridge Teen Center’s sister organization, The Bridge Thrift Store. This unique program gives students the opportunity to interview for committed volunteer roles that give them hands-on experience in a creative and thriving retail setting. Shorter-term group and individual community service opportunities also are available to students by visiting www.thebridgeteencenter.org/volunteer.

regional teen center Job Readiness

Thriftastic Job Readiness student, Jack Parsons, shelves donated books at The Bridge Teen Center’s sister organization, The Bridge Thrift Store.

Student programs take place after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at The Bridge Teen Center, 15555 S. 71st Court in Orland Park.

Programs are holistically designed around the interests and needs of suburban teens. Advance sign up is required. Students can sign up at www.thebridgeteencenter.org.

In addition to afterschool programs, The Bridge Teen Center hosts events every other Friday from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Some themes will include: Disney Extravaganza & Trivia, Super Mario Madness, Sham-Rockin’ Shindig, Battle of the Bands and more. Friday Nights also typically include karaoke, open art studio, games, live music, and free food samples donated by local restaurants. Advance sign up is not required for Friday nights, but students and their friends must have a Bridge student membership.

“Even though we have been open over 12 years, we continue to work hard at offering new and relevant free programs students can both benefit from AND enjoy,” said Priscilla Steinmetz, Founder and Executive Director of The Bridge. “Our intentional approach to designing our program calendar each semester provides students with a balance of what they need at this age – but also what they desire to experience.”

All programs and events at The Bridge Teen Center are offered free of charge and are open to teens with an approved student membership. Parents or guardians of students that are not members can apply for a free student membership at www.thebridgeteencenter.org.

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