Wouldn’t It Be Lovely
R-Teen Center is a collaboration of a growing list of more than a dozen local community service groups, non-profit organizations, businesses, and local professionals who have come together to BE THE SOLUTION to growing problems facing teens in Ramona!
R-Teen Center will be the next evolution of Ramona’s Pop-up Skatepark, open year-round, and in all-weather, with a variety of activities including the pop-up skatepark, and so much more!
Currently Ramona kids “age out” of prominent after-school programs at the age of 12-years old. The community has few parks or local businesses with free or inexpensive activities during after-school hours to specifically target teens aged 13 to 18 years old. Ramona’s Pop-up Skatepark is one of a very few, but that is only open for two 10-week sessions each year, and only in fair weather.
This lack of social structure for this age group is particularly evident “in town.” Adjacent to Main Street a concentration of low-income apartments and townhomes provide a mass of teenagers who have no welcoming space to congregate or be active, especially if they are on wheels – a skateboard, scooter or BMX bike. These same apartments generally have a “no wheels” policy. Some will evict a family if their kids are caught on their wheels more than 3-times.
These displaced teens congregate in parking lots and alleyways of local businesses, using the creek bed as an underground highway across town to favorite locations to hang out. Some businesses, like Dunkin Donuts, have become a de-facto teen center, which strains them in ways that should not be an issue. Local sheriff have many negative interactions with teens that are doing nothing more than gathering in a group bigger than 20 (the point at which the local Dunkin Donuts Manager will call the Sheriff to clear them out.)
The County has promised Ramona a skatepark at what we call the RICC (Ramona Intergenerational Community Campus) for over 20-years. To be fair, they claim they are closer to making good on that promise than many locals give them credit. However, original County sketches of the RICC shown to Ramona planners showed not just a skatepark, but also other amenities like a “Teen Café,” a gym, and some other recreational facilities that all ages can use for low cost or free – making the entire RICC a place in Ramona that would be welcoming and safe for teens, and all ages.
Over time, the County changed the plans to focus on seniors and retired adults. The skatepark remains in the intergenerational plan, but space for amenities that target teens, like “Teen Café,” are less likely in the plan. County representatives do not express eagerness to operate a teen center or “Teen Café” in Ramona. The YMCA has also declined due to the size of the market. The Boys & Girls Club is here, but kids age out of this program at 12-years old.
Supervisor Joel Anderson, while not expressly interested in operating a Teen Center here, has expressed to Ramona Skatepark Champions an interest in discussing potential County grant funding for a local year-round teen program, like Pop-up Skatepark. In response to this invitation to expand our program to year-round, the Ramona Skatepark Champions, in collaboration with so many local businesses and groups, are proud to present our proposal for…The R-Teen Center!
Download R-Teen Center Business Plan
Amenities Thus Far Include:
- Do-it-yourself (DIY) skatepark in the front
- DIY BMX practice course in the back
- Temperature controlled indoor space for lounging and creative and enriching activities
- Free cell phone and electronics charging
- Professional counseling support to help identify teens in crisis and connect them with appropriate resources
- Healthy snacks and life skills programs to help build strong and resilient young adults
- All at a location that is close enough to Ramona High School and Olive Pierce Middle School for kids to walk
- A carpool program to help teens from Montecito High School get across town, or to get kids from the Hanson Lane schools a ride in bad weather or if they are ability
Keys to Success Include:
- The collaborative nature of the project brings in a vast amount of community resources and expertise to bear
- Using a paid and experienced executive director and staff, as opposed to relying on volunteers
- A secure and accessible location that we own and do not lease, so no risk of losing a location during a particularly lean year, or because a landlord sold the property
- Main Street frontage on a corner lot means the Teen Center will be easy to find, easy to access, and easy for Sheriff’s to patrol.
How Can You Help?
Fill out the contact form below & let us know why you think Ramona needs fun activities for teens after school in a safe, secure & supervised location like the R-Teen Center proposal. Prefer an email over a contact form? That’s great! Write a letter of support to Ramona Skatepark Champions R-Teen Center & email it to email@example.com or print it & mail it to PO Box 1169 Ramona, CA 92065.
Write a Letter of Support
Individuals & Businesses Offering Encouragement & Support
- 2Create Gallery
- Ballet Adagio for Dance Classes
- Coldwell Bankers, Sharon Quisenberry
- Famous Ramona Water
- Holly Helps Marketing
- Knight’s Furniture, Ramona
- Local Volunteers to Provide Free Tutoring
- Local Dirt Movers Have Offered to Set Up the Dirt Track
- Local Financial Advisor Has Offered to Teach Teen Budgeting & Finance Curriculum
- Local Physical Trainers to Offer Yoga and Zumba
STAY TUNED: More are signing up as we talk to community groups and businesses about the plan!
PO Box 1169
Ramona, CA 92065