Dare Youth Center now part of DCDHHS

Published 7:06 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

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The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has announced that the Youth Center on Roanoke Island will now fall under DHHS. Formerly under the Department of Parks & Recreation, the most recent move is a natural fit that will allow the Youth Center to share in the department’s mission as well as take advantage of its resources.

“We are thrilled to have the Youth Center be a part of DHHS,” said DHHS director Sheila Davies. “This invaluable program will be an asset to our department and complement the important work we do in making Dare County a safe and healthy community for all residents.”

The Dare County Youth Center was established in 2008 and serves a total of 80 children in grades kindergarten through 12. “On any given day, there are between 50 and 55 youth who rely on the youth center for enrichment, after-school care and support. Under the leadership of Leisure Activity Specialist Carolyn Norman-Holadia, these children also participate in numerous community service projects throughout the year,” stated a Dare County news release.

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Currently located at 711 U.S. 64 North in Manteo, plans for a new facility are underway at the former Masonic Lodge building located at 105 Old State Road, Manteo. The new 4,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2025, will include a multi-purpose room, office space, classroom space, game room, kitchen, restrooms and an on-site playground.

“The Youth Center is designed to be a safe haven for children where we encourage education success and inspire children to be the best version of themselves that they can be,” said Norman-Holadia. “We are so much more than just an after-school program.”

From wrapping gifts for the Dare Center Christmas Party to collecting food to donate to local churches, youth in the program are regularly out in the community making a difference. They also participate in a number of field trips, including the Elizabeth City State University Empowerment Camp and N.C. State Fair.

For more information on the Dare Youth Center, go to darenc.gov/YouthCenter.