ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — The new Rogers Teen Center is serving the Northwest Arkansas community and giving the state’s next generation a place to thrive during the summer months.
“Us moving over here gives us an opportunity for kids to get off the street and come here after school so they’re not doing anything illegal or anything bad,” said Ethan Campbell, 18.
During the summer, kids who rely on schools to provide daily meals and activities are left without an option. The Boys & Girls Club of Benton County kept that in mind when moving their teens to a new building, one that was anonymously donated.
“A lot of our teens may not have internet at home so they can access their homework,” said Ashley Skaggs, the director of operations. “A lot of homework is based online on their computers at schools, so we’re trying to stay up to par with our technology.”
The building features a technology center with computers, PlayStations and games. Teens can play their favorite titles or do their homework once school starts back.
“It’s really a hot spot where we can watch movies, play games, board games,” Campbell said.
In the main area of the center, teens can play shoot hoops on an arcade machine, play air hockey, table tennis or just lounge around on one of the couches. Enlarged images of magazines, including one featuring former Razorback running back Darren McFadden, adorn the back wall.
“It’s a great, great space,” Campbell said. “Just so many opportunities for all those kids and us teens, as well.”
Skaggs said the new center is better than the one-room space set aside at the Boys & Girls Club across the street. An architect designed the center for free, and teens benefit from it, she said.