Beginning Nov. 12, the Eastern Learning Academy (ELA), an off-site program with Eastern Regional High School that serves students suffering from anxiety and depression, will partner with The Spot in Voorhees on once-monthly morning classes for students enrolled at the latter.
“[The class] provides students with the ability to engage in recreational activities with their school peers,” explained Dr. Susan Roth, director of special services and administrator for ELA. “ … Being at The Spot allows them to not only learn with [their classmates], but to socialize and engage in fun activities that aren’t available at ELA. It also gives them an outlet to relieve any stress or anxiety that they’re experiencing.”
While plans are still in flux, Roth hopes to offer culinary and art classes and creative instruction at the Voorhees teen facility that students can use as an outlet.
“This is the first time we’re actually doing it (opening up The Spot) during the academic day,” said Hilary Garr, a board member for the Eastern district and The Spot. “We have this facility and we thought, how else can we utilize it?”
Located on the second floor of the Voorhees Town Center, The Spot offers a place for teens to relax, get work done and engage in activities with each other. It has large tables for work and art projects, a pool table, video game consoles and a food bar supplied with snacks and sandwiches donated by Wawa.
“It’s a refreshing environment,” Roth noted. “It gives our students an opportunity to switch up their environment throughout the week to a very comfortable and appealing setting.”
Elena Chow, also a board member for The Spot, the school district and the Berlin-Gibbsboro-Voorhees Alliance, encourages teens to utilize the space, and is open to working with local groups and organizations who might be interested in using the teen center for group functions.
“We really want to open it up to the whole community,” Chow said. “If they’d like to use it, we can be flexible.”
The Spot is open every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and is sponsored by Voorhees Township, The town center mall, Wawa, Eastern Regional High School, Columbia Bank and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Organizations interested in using the space should contact Elena Chow at firstname.lastname@example.org.