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Orange Youth Services

High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Rd., Orange, CT 06577
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Youth Services is a component of the Town of Orange Community Services Department.  Both the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Town of Orange fund Youth Services. 

This department offers a variety of services to the local youth of Orange, which include: Job Bank, Alternative Activities, Babysitting Classes, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention activities, On-Site School Programs, Volunteer Opportunities, Community Education, Information and Referrals, Court Community Service, and parent informational classes.

Under the Community Services umbrella is the Youth Services component, which includes a Job Bank for Orange youth between the ages of 13 and 16 and classes and outreach programs both at the Community Center and at Amity Junior High School.  Youth Services provides regular evening activities for 7th - 8th graders in Orange through its Youth Activity Program.  Youth Services is a member of the BOW Parenting Initiative, CT Youth Services Association, Planning for Children and Youth Committee, and the Amity Local Systems Collaborative and does other collaborative programming with agencies in the BOW community. 

It operates under a Positive Youth Development philosophy, which believes that the youth who view themselves as contributing members of those communities of which they are a part - family, school, peers, and community - have the greatest potential for becoming productive adults.  Youth Services supports that philosophy by offering programs and services that foster acquisition of life skills, opportunities for application of those skills, and recognition of success.

Job Bank
A job referral service is available to Orange youth ages 13 to 16. The main objective of the Job Bank is to instill a sense of responsibility and positive work ethic in youth. Members are responsible for contacting residents who request various jobs to be done such as painting, cleaning, party helper, yardwork, snow shoveling, and animal care. Members complete a 30- to 40-minute interview prior to acceptance into the program. Ratings on job performance are kept on each member and often used as a reference for future employment. If you are interested in becoming a member of the job bank, please contact the Youth Services Coordinator at (203) 891-4785.

Babysitting & First Aid
Become a certified babysitter and receive a First Aid certification. A one-session babysitting course is offered several times a year by the Youth Services staff. A diploma will be awarded to all participants who complete the course. Instructional materials, course booklets, and lunch included.

Evening Activities
Activities are offered throughout the year specifically for 7th and 8th graders. Activities include dances, open gym activities, and holiday theme nights. Activities will be added as interests are expressed. To express your interests join the Youth Services Advisory Club, or propose your idea to someone who is already involved. All activities are drug and alcohol free. Also, there is an annual incoming 7th grade picnic to welcome the new students who will attend Amity Middle School.

Intergenerational Tutoring Program
If you are having trouble in Math, English, History, Science, Language Arts, or Study Skills, then this tutoring program is the perfect opportunity for you. Enjoy a snack and a relaxed after-school environment every Thursday from 3:30 to 5 PM in the Arts and Crafts room (2nd floor) of the Case Memorial Library. The tutors are retired senior citizens from the town of Orange with specialties in education. Any child from 1st to 12th grade is welcome to come and join our program. If you are interested in receiving some extra help with your schoolwork, or even just want to come in and see what we are all about, contact the Youth Services Coordinator at (203) 891-4785.

Art Colony
The Art Colony is an opportunity for Orange youth, grades K-12, to submit a work of art from various media. The art work will be displayed on the walls of the High Plains Community Center for approximately 3 months and will be viewed by hundreds of visitors to the Center. All submitted work will be accepted. Exhibit is ongoing and will accept submissions as long as hanging space is available. The Art Colony is open to Orange students in Orange Elementary, Amity Middle, and Amity High School. Media will be paintings, drawings, prints, and photography. A reception for artist and parents will be scheduled in May at HPCC. The purpose of the Colony is to encourage all students to appreciate their respective artistic talents and have an opportunity to have their work exhibited.

Living History Club
The Living History Club is a first-hand, eyewitness learning Club that encourages senior citizens to share their personal experiences with Middle and High School students who have a keen interest in Social Studies. Examples of subjects include the Great Depression, World War 2, what home life was like half century ago, economic times, entertainment, the advent of television, world events, political elections, songs of the day, latest fashions…The Club would be able to visit classes during or after school hours and have an informal exchange in regard their actual experiences in historical events that would be educational and fun.

Volunteer Program For High School Students
Youth Services provides opportunities for Orange High School youth to participate in volunteer opportunities to accumulate school hours. Examples of activities include Middle School dances, Art Colony Recognition event, administrative assistance, food pantry assistance, various Town events, K-6 Art exhibit at Case Library, and other opportunities.

K-6 Children of Orange Case Library Art Exhibit
An annual event, Youth Services and Art in the Library Committee combined to offer Orange students, K-6, an opportunity to exhibit an example of their art work chosen by their teachers. The works are framed and are on display in the Case Library Exhibit Hall for the month of April. A family reception is also held at the library.

Youth Services also puts out its own newsletter called the Youth Informer. The newsletter features photographs and articles about program activities and incorporates student submissions as well.

Youth Services Advisory Committee

  • Robert Catalde
  • Marie Gull, Chair
  • Sharon Stockel
  • John Manfredo
  • Jon O'Keefe
  • Peter Boppert
  • Robert Gagne

Student representatives:

  • Miranda Demirjian
  • Rachel Marcus
  • Emily Rose Martino
  • Erin McCormack
  • Matt Schmidt

Resource person: John Ulatowski, Youth Services Coordinator