The Southampton Youth Bureau is looking for innovative ways to create more activities for East End pre-teens and teenagers, and a new nightclub-type party on Elm Street will be its first foray in March.
In an effort to provide a safe and fun environment for the minors, the bureau has been working with the Southampton Youth Board—a group of children and adults appointed by Southampton Town to determine the needs of young people—to create a series of events utilizing local businesses not typically open to the younger set.
The first such activity, scheduled for Friday, March 14, is called “Uptown Elm” and it is a nightclub event at 230 Elm in Southampton Village that will be open to all high school students in the town. A second similar event will be held in April for middle school students.
“The issues we hear most about from parents and kids, and people who work with kids, is that there aren’t enough options or places for kids to spend time with their friends that are safe,” Nancy C. Lynott, the director of the Southampton Youth Bureau, said this week. “Unlike western parts of the island, out here we don’t have a lot of venues that offer a lot for young people.”
According to Ms. Lynott, next month’s club night will be beneficial to local teenagers, noting that it will give them an opportunity to meet other local young people from outside of their school districts. She noted that most traditional school dances are only held at the middle school level.
She also stressed that next month’s club night will be a low-key affair, and not a formal dance. “It is definitely not a prom,” Ms. Lynott joked.
“The main difference is that this will be for any student in Southampton [Town], and it is not just limited to one school,” she continued. “Young people can come and see friends, or meet other young people from the township, and it is a different environment.”
The idea for the event was first presented by the youth board to the youth bureau in November, Ms. Lynott explained. She added that the group started meeting in September to outline basic goals and priorities for the organization. Another focus of the group is finding ways to incorporate local businesses into the equation, while keeping the safety of students at the forefront.
In April, the group will host its second event, this one geared toward middle school students. Although specifics about the event are not yet known, it also will be held at 230 Elm. If that event goes well, the youth board plans to spend the summer contacting other local businesses with the hope of scheduling more recreational events for the fall. “230 Elm has been a terrific partner,” Ms. Lynott said.
Representatives from 230 Elm were not immediately available for comment.
The club night on March 14 will feature refreshments and a live DJ, and transportation to and from the venue is available. The event will run from 8 to 10 p.m., and the cost of admission will be $10 per person and payable at the door. More information can be found online at www.Southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau, or by calling Caprice Crippen at (631) 702-2432.
“The young people are very excited, and they have been a big part of the planning,” Ms. Lynott said. “They were the driving idea behind it. It is great when you can get young people’s ideas.”