THE STORY BEHIND THE BTC
In 2005, recognizing the urgent need for a place where teens could learn, connect, grow and have fun, Paul and Saskia Epstein began to explore the possibility of creating a teen center in Brookline. The vision was to create a place where youth could spend their out-of-school time in a safe place with both formal and informal activities centered around academic enrichment, physical activity and socio-emotional health. In this way, the Teen Center would meet the needs of local teens for a constructive, entertaining and affordable place to spend their out-of-school time. Pau and Saskia recognized the importance of having teens at the planning table for the initial phase and knew its success would depend on creating a teen-driven vision and project.
For the next 9 years, various groups of teen interns worked on planning, designing and fundraising in order to make their dream into a reality and on September 15, 2013, the Brookline Teen Center opened its doors for business. Since then, thousands of teens have come through the Center and teens continue to drive the vision. The Brookline Teen Center was built by teens, for teens and is the only teen center like it in the local area.
WHAT IS THE BTC?
The BTC is a privately funded, non-profit, out-of-school time facility offering an array of programs, activities and events that are delivered by our expert staff, volunteers and teens. The BTC strives to transform lives by connecting members with the experiences, resources and supports they need to succeed both in and out of school.
One of the things that makes the BTC different from other teen centers is its long-time focus on being a “teen-driven” program. Teens have been involved since the beginning and continue to drive the program today. The BTC has a Teen Board of Directors, a variety of programs designed and run by teens, concerts organized and put on by teens, teen employees, etc… Teens are involved in marketing, media and programming decisions and use the BTC as a place to launch their own ideas for projects, event and programs.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Mon 2:30pm-7:00pm (6th, 7th & 8th grade only)
Tue 3:00pm-8:00pm (High School only) *
Wed 3:00pm-8:00pm (High School only) *
Thu 3:00pm-8:00pm (High School only) *
Fri 3:00pm-10:00pm (High School only) *
Sat 3:00pm-10:00pm (High School only) *
*There are some programs for middle school students offered Tue-Fri and middle school students may come to the BTC for that programming only.
Throughout the year, the BTC holds special event evenings such as parties, concerts, etc…and for those events, may stay open until midnight.
From time to time, we are closed due to major holidays, snow storms or non-youth related events. We will post any closings/changes on our website.
Each BTC staff member is a qualified and experienced professional. Many have worked for years as program staff in other youth programs and/or have teaching backgrounds.
The BTC is not licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care or any other stat agency however, all of our adult staff, volunteers and interns who will have monitored contact with members have received a background check through the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice (CORI – Criminal Offender Background Information).
The BTC is available for and 6th-12th grader that either lives in Brookline or attends school in Brookline (public or private). Our goal is to be a resource to ALL middle schoolers and teens in the Brookline community.
HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER
Go to brooklineteencenter.org and complete the online membership form. If you do not have a computer, the BTC can provide you with access to one. Make a membership payment (see below for cost information). Receive your card and have totaL access!
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY MEMBERSHIP?
Participation in all BTC programs is on a drop-in voluntary basis. Members have unlimited in-out privileges and are welcome to attend all classes, workshops, events and more. Most programs are included in the membership cost but some do have an additional price. Most field trips are at no cost but some have an additional amount that members pay in order to attend but scholarships are available.
COST = PAY WHAT YOU CAN
The BTC is a privately funded, non-profit organization with no town funding.
We believe that every Brookline youth is entitled to have access to the programs, activities and opportunities that the BTC provides.
Membership is based on the Pay What You Can model. We understand that our members come from a wide spectrum of financial positions yet believe all youth should be able to attend.
The suggested amount for a high school annual membership is $200.00 ($100.00 for an annual middle school membership). Please understand that $200.00 does not cover our costs of one member so if you are able, please consider an increased payment amount. If $200.00 does not fit in your budget, please consider a payment amount that makes sense for you. For those who truly cannot afford to pay any amount, a free membership can be requested.
Payment can be made annually, bi-annually or monthly. Membership can be cancelled at any time. There are no refunds once a payment has been made.
POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND GENERAL INFORMATION AT THE BTC
Participation in all Teen Center programs is on a drop-in, voluntary basis. Participants have unlimited in-out privileges. The program is not responsible for the care or supervision of members once they have left the Teen Center or once the Teen Center is closed. Please arrange with your child as to when it is appropriate to leave the facility and with whom.
SIGN IN PROCEDURES
When entering the Teen Center and before participating in any activities, all participants will be required to sign in at the front desk by scanning their BTC card.
The teen center has lockers where you can safely store your belongings but does not provide locks. Please be sure to bring your own lock if you are planning on using the lockers. The teen center is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
The Teen Center has a small cafe which runs on Mondays. Packaged snacks and drinks are available. Food is purchased by using either cash only. Food and glass bottles are never allowed in gym, fitness center or yoga/dance studio.
The academic mezzanine is a quiet area for members to use for studying. The mezzanine has computers available for member use.
Members can sign out Chromebooks to use within the facility
All computers are equipped with Sonic Wall for the safety of all users.
Priority goes to those members using computer time for homework
The downloading of programs or questionable material is NOT ALLOWED
Please save any personal work to your jump drive
Always ask a BTC staff for assistance if you come across something on the computer that should not be there.
FRONT OF THE TEEN CENTER, PARKING LOT, PARKING GARAGE AND ELEVATOR TOWER
Be outside of the teen center in the outdoor area that begins at the end of the parking lot (denoted by the brick pavers)
Park their bikes in the provided bike racks
Loiter in the elevator tower
Loiter in the outdoor parking lot, be on the ramp leading to Crossfit and may
NEVER be on the wall next to the ramp.
Skateboard or bike around in any outdoor area of the teen center.
Members should always:
Use the walkway and not enter through the parking lot.
Be aware of their noise volume as to not disturb the neighbors and surrounding
VEHICLES – DROP-OFF, PICK-UP AND PARKING
The parking lot has 5 BTC parking spots designated for drop-off and pick up and are clearly marked Designated 15-minute drop off parking.
Members should park their vehicles on the street where parking is available.
Parking behind the building is never permitted.
When the Teen Center holds special events, there is a mandatory vehicle flow that must be followed. Vehicles must enter the Teen Center heading southwest on Aspinwall (towards Harvard Street) and must exit the Teen Center by making a right and going in the same southwest direction.
FIELD TRIPS AND COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMMING
The Teen Center actively seeks partnerships with community organizations, schools, etc… in the town of Brookline and members will have access to the community-based programming that takes place beyond the walls of the Teen Center. If any programming opportunities arise that are outside of the town of Brookline, permission by a parent/guardian will be required.
PROCEDURES FOR INJURIES
If a member is injured, the BTC staff will take whatever steps necessary to obtain emergency medical care. These steps may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Attempts to contact a parent or guardian.
Attempts to contact a parent or guardian through emergency contacts.
If we cannot contact the parent/guardian or the situation warrants, we will call an ambulance or paramedic if the situation warrants such action.
The BTC does not administer medication to members.
SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
As an organization, we adhere to all principles of the mandated reporting law regarding suspected abuse or neglect of a child.
CODE OF CONDUCT
No verbal or written abuse or threats
No sexual harassment
No drugs, alcohol or tobacco
No physical contact such as prolonged kissing or inappropriate touching.
Dress appropriately – No clothing that contain inappropriate content or offensive content.
An excess of skin should not be revealed. Footwear must be worn to comply with health
No loitering around the teen center after hours
Be respectful to the staff
Adhere to all rules regarding equipment
Eat in designated areas only and clean up after yourself
After using a space, return it to the order in which it was found
The teen center is not responsible for lost or stolen property
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
The BTC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, gender, national origin, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, status as a citizen, veteran or military affiliation in membership, employment or its programs/activities.