Teens and preteens can get access to life-skill classes that also boost self-confidence and promote socialization at Children’s Board Family Resource Centers located in Brandon, Plant City and Ruskin.

The Children’s Board Family Resource Centers are located throughout Hillsborough County and offer programs and services emphasizing family support, child development, health, safety and learning success. One of the newest programs is the Explorer’s Club.

The Explorer’s Club is good for students 12-15 years old. It is an outlet to meet new people, socialize and participate in events that teach life skills. All of this is designed to help them build self-confidence and learn new skills. The only requirement for attending is that the student’s family must be a member of a Children’s Board Family Resource Center.

Each Children’s Board Family Resource Center has different schedules for classes and events. The resource centers are located at: 1271 Kingsway Rd. in Brandon (813-740-4634); 301 N. Palmer St. in Plant City (813-752-8700); and 3030 E. College Ave. in Ruskin (813-641-5600).

The Explorer’s Club was developed in Plant City by Talisha Nelms, early childhood coordinator for the Plant City Resource Center, as a result of the needs of the community. Each resource center has a Community Advisory Council. The idea for the Explorer’s Club came about as a result of the need to help teens prepare for the future. In addition, parents whose children came to the resource centers as young children, wanted resources and opportunities for them. After the first year of operation in Plant City, the Explorer’s Club was introduced at all seven locations.

Tamika Lopez, family specialist for the Plant City Resource Center, explained, “The Explorer’s Club is a resource for teens trying to figure things out. We want to help prepare them for the future.”

Tyheshia Scott, director of the Children’s Board Family Resource Centers, said, “This program was developed in response to the needs of the community. We want to be a part of the solution by continuing to be with children as they grow up.”

The Explorer’s Club is set up in six-week sessions. Students can join at any time. The sessions are offered year-round, with a two to three-week break between sessions. Each class lasts one hour. The resource center provides all of the materials, and each session is run by the staff of the individual resource center.

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County was established in 1988 after the legislature passed the Juvenile Welfare Services Act. The legislation provided that any Florida county whose voters passed a referendum could create a special taxing district for children’s services.

For more information, please visit www.familysupporthc.org.

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