The DropZone opens doors to teens
By Sue Tiffin
Published Oct. 17, 2017
Teens looking for a space to hang out with the opportunity to create and record a CD should clear their schedules for upcoming Tuesday afternoons.
That’s when The DropZone, a free drop-in program for youth in Haliburton County, opens its doors to the community.
The program is the brainchild of Dianne Mathes, a therapist, Nancy Brownsberger, a life coach and Mark Christiano, a musician. After the deaths this year of two local teens, the trio came together to plan the creative project and safe, supportive space.
“Being a teenager in today’s world is rife with chaos both globally and locally and our kids need us to lead them in learning how to find space and use quiet and artistic expression as a healthy option for dealing with said chaos,” said Brownsberger.
She said there are successful youth programs in the community now, and The DropZone group is looking forward to potentially collaborating with those programs, but that more is needed.
“It is my personal belief that in order to grow and mature through the teen years, successfully into young adulthood, teenagers and youth must have a sense of belonging and link to their community,” said Brownsberger.
“Part of what brought me to Haliburton 10 years ago is that it is the kind of community where people support each other and care about each other’s lives,” said Mathes.
Everyone is welcome – not just musically-inclined teens – to get involved in the project in some way, help lead the program or just to have a place to go.
“The project itself has many facets including organizational skills, artwork, musical input, lyrics and poetry,” said Brownsberger, “and just coming and hanging out and creating in whatever way fits for each participant is the true purpose of this project.”
The DropZone happens at SIRCH Central, 4 Victoria Street, in Haliburton on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 24.