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Teen Center Opens in Sterling

Middle- and high-school students in Loudoun County can now spend their weekends at the Claude Moore Recreation Center in Sterling. The recreation center opened, from 7 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights starting Nov. 2. Friday nights are designed for middle-school students between grades six to eight while Saturday nights are designed for high-school students from grades nine to 12.

Sky Dantinne, the center’s manager, said that although the program is new, he is optimistic about its future.

"It’s still a program that’s in its beginning stages and we expect it to become more defined and to expand over the next two weeks and be even better," he said.

So far, middle-school students have been attending on Friday nights, but the response from high-school students on Saturday nights has been limited.

"It’s on its way to becoming successful," Dantinne said, adding that there is a plan to possibly expand Saturday nights to include more than just high-school students to make up for the lack of attendance.

The feedback from those who have attended has been positive so far, he said.

"I’m sure the parents enjoy that part — that they’re happy, well fed and tired," he said, adding that the parents can know their children are in a "safe, secure, fun atmosphere."

If the program is successful, it could expand in the future, Dantinne said. Some of the changes could include adding opportunities to learn things like life skills.

"It’s good to focus on a specific group of kids and give them a safe, fun place to go," he said.

Students must check in by 8 p.m. at the recreation center’s front desk to participate. Entry is $5 per person, but it includes all activities for the night, including various games and refreshments like pizza and soft drinks. The center is located at 46105 Loudoun Park Lane in Sterling.