Now catering to all age groups, CREAR has added extra events for the older kids in the Samara area. “Teen Night”is being hosted for those between the ages of 13 and 18 every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the CREAR office, located in the center of Samara on the road to the beach across from Intercultura Language School.
“The teen program is a new initiative focused on forming a group of adolescents that meets weekly. The inspiration came from the fact that graduates of the elementary school CREAR program have requested to still participate in activities with us, but ones that would be appropriate for their age,” explained Andrea Keith, program director for Asociacion CREAR, a nonprofit association that provides educational activities for young people in Samara and El Torito.
“The idea is that the teens hang out for the first hour and socialize and play ping pong, etc., and that for the second hour we do something more dynamic, such as an art project, sports, dance, movie showings, etc.”
During the first teen night, the seven teens that attended filled out a survey to provide CREAR with ideas for activities in which they would like to participate in the future. “They were all excited by the idea, and gave us super positive feedback with the surveys,” Keith related.
Through this initiative, CREAR aims to not only provide teenaged kids in town with something safe and fun to do on Thursday nights, but also to act as a positive influence by getting the kids involved in community events and showing them the importance of volunteering and community service and the hard work that goes into it all.
In June, the teenagers made cookies and popcorn to sell at theCaravanaTica cultural festival in order to raise money for a field trip to the Parque de Diversion in San Jose. Their goal is to raise about 200,000 colones ($400) to pay for transportation and admission to the park, but during Caravana Tica, they only raised about 10,000 colones ($20). Although they didn’t meet their goal that night, it taught the kids an important lesson about fundraising, according to Johanna Waite, fundraising and environmental director of CREAR: “It’s not an easy thing.”