Dr. Emmanuelle Chiappinelli, or Dr. “Chip”, as he’s known to the community of Swanton, has been a pediatrician in Swanton for over twenty years. In September of 2000 He began a clinic at the local high school that opens one day a week where kids can see a doctor, fee free if needed. Dr. Chip also started a group latter named as the RAIDers, Raising Awareness Involving Drugs, this is a group that meets every Thursday and discusses drugs, and drug prevention. This group decided that Franklin County really needed a safe and fun place for teens to “hang out”.
In July 2001 a local property owner donated a small, temporary, space for the group to begin creating a center. About a year later the group finally found the perfect place, a 9,600 square foot basement, complete with three working bowling alley lanes. The RAIDers along with a lot of community volunteers fixed the place up. Now six years later the center has grown dramatically in teen participation.
The teen center has, along with the bowling alleys, three pool tables, two foosball tables, a big screen TV, a Playstation and much more. Every year the centers takes the teens on field trips and works within the community helping where they can.
The Swanton Teen Center is a program designed to serve teens in the Missisquoi Valley Union High School and the alternative schools that serve the same area. The Swanton Teen Center is a warm safe place to retreat and hang out with friends. It is a good place because youth can come after school instead of going home to an empty house, where they may get bored and make bad choices, over eat or avoid doing important things like their homework. We prepare healthy snacks with teens and for teens everyday for them to eat, learn and enjoy. There are always adults around to act as a sounding board to youth seeking a way to communicate with the parental figures in their lives. We offer a variety of groups that will help lead the teens to good decision making, independent living, and solid critical thinking skills and also get them thinking about higher education.
The Teen Centers goals are to get kids moving physically, thinking healthy via food choices, say no to drugs and alcohol, having healthy relationships and to become active as well as valued members of their communities.