Eaton Rapids Teen Space

Photo of teens posing with pumpkins outside the Eaton Rapids Teen Space.

What is Eaton Rapids Teen Space?

Eaton Rapids Teen Space is a community teen center in Eaton Rapids where youth in grades 6-12 can visit during after school hours to socialize, study, play games, eat food, and participate in a variety of recreational and educational programming. Our teen center is organized and run by a small staff and large cohort of local volunteers.

Since opening in 2018, Eaton Rapids Teen Space has welcomed Eaton Rapids area youth to come to a place they can call their very own – a space where they are the focus, and can create their own community connections, memories, and legacy.

Where is Eaton Rapids Teen Space? We are located at the west end of Union Street Community Center, located at 501 Union St. in Eaton Rapids.

When is Teen Space open? During the school year, we are open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., but youth can arrive by 2:30!

How can I participate at Teen Space? Just show up! All we ask is that you are between grades 6 & 12, that you sign in & sign out at the door, and that you fill out one of our registration/parent contact forms.

Photo of students at the teen center cooking together.


Activities & Programs

At Eaton Rapids Teen Space, our aim is to provide a space where local youth can participate in a variety of recurring activities and programs. These have included both youth-initiated and organized activities, as well as programs organized by Teen Space and led by adults.

Eaton Rapids Teen Space has been fortunate to collaborate with many individuals, groups, and organizations to provide regular programs and activities. Some notable mentions that have contributed facilities, time, money, resources, personnel, and ideas include the City of Eaton Rapids; Eaton Rapids Public Schools; Eaton Rapids Area District Library; Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties; Barry-Eaton Health Department; Eaton RESA; Capital Region Community Foundation; Women Working Wonders; and more. Our connections and offerings are only growing.

Some of our recurring programs & activities include…

• Woodworking

• Dungeons & Dragons Groups

• Cooking & Baking Classes

• Stress Busters

• Guitar & Ukulele Lessons

Some of our previous Teen Space projects include…

• A cookbook

• Photo Voice (photography)

• A community garden

• The construction of picnic tables for Eaton Rapids parks


Who Runs Teen Space?

Eaton Rapids Teen Space is a fully supervised teen center run by three part-time staff, many regular volunteers, and a board of directors. The executive director, Adam (above, right), assistant director, Treasa (above, left), and youth aid, Mandi (above, middle), are always present five days a week, while various volunteers from the community and the board help out as needed.

Eaton Rapids Teen Space is the first and primary project of Eaton Rapids Community Alliance (ERCA), a community-based nonprofit organization focused on promoting Eaton Rapids, addressing community heath needs, and deepening relationships and connections in Eaton Rapids, as well as the surrounding community.

Want to Volunteer at Teen Space?

Eaton Rapids Teen Space is always looking for new volunteers! Our volunteers help with our day-to-day activities, making food, teaching our youth new skills, playing fun games, trying out new activities, tutoring, connecting our youth with other people & organizations in the community, and much more. But there’s always room for more! You’ll just have to fill out one of our volunteer forms, pass a basic background check, and go through a brief interview with our executive director. Volunteer forms can be picked up in person, or requested via email. Safety is one of biggest concerns at Teen Space, which is why we require a background check. We also want volunteers who are friendly, self-motivated, fun to be around, and who actually enjoy working with youth! If you fit those qualities, we’d love to work with you!

To request a digital volunteer form, please email your request to either ercenterdirector@gmail.com, or erteencenter@gmail.com.

Our Values, Our Mission

At ERCA and Eaton Rapids Teen Space, we place high value in the health, connectedness, and legacy of our community. Looking to the future, we recognize that the town, leaders, and health we have tomorrow depends on what and who we invest in today. Eaton Rapids Teen Space is our contribution toward a brighter future for Eaton Rapids.

Teen Space’s values…

• Health

• Connectivity

• Places, spaces, & environments

• Diversity, inclusivity, equity

• Legacy

• Safety

• Education

Teen Space’s Mission then is to provide a space where local youth are… healthy; socially & relationally connected; taking ownership & responsibility; welcomed to a diverse, inclusive, & equitable environment; creating their own legacy; enjoying themselves safely & comfortably; learning & developing new skills. Creating not only a center, but also a culture that embodies our values is our mission.

Our Own Building?

Since the opening of Eaton Rapids Teen Space, ERCA has hoped and dreamed about one day building our own teen center from the ground up. Finally, those hopes and dreams are materializing. Plans are being drawn, input is being gathered, partners are lining up, and funds are being raised for this project.

But we have a long way to go, and we need your help. By summer of 2022 a capital campaign will begin to hopefully raise the bulk of the funds we need to make this dream become a reality. If you are interested in helping us financially, please donate here:

“They are only our future if they are the focus of our present.”

Contact Us

Contact Eaton Rapids Teen Center by…

Calling: (517) 575-9200

Emailing: ercenterdirector@gmail.com

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