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Wilton Almanac: Trackside Teen Center

The Trackside Teen Center is tucked away between busy Danbury Road and the recently reopened Wilton Train Station. Since 2004, Trackside has provided teens with a drug- and alcohol-free environment to gather after school and on weekends.

Trackside, which also offers a safe and supervised environment, supports teens and gives them a place to meet up with other teens and avoid illegal drugs and alcohol. The teen center is open to all students at Middlebrook Middle School and Wilton High School looking to build healthy social relationships.

Running the day-to-day operations at Trackside is Executive Director Mark Ketley and Program Directory Brett Beatty. Both joined the staff within the past seven months. They have made improvements and attracted different types of teens through an array of events, including concerts, educational programs and even a movie shoot during the summer of 2010.

Ketley and Beatty are not alone in planning events and helping at Trackside. They get help from a Board of Directors and a Student Governing Board as well. The Student Governing Board, which includes kids from Middlebrook and Wilton High School, is important because Trackside tries to be "designed by teens and for teens," according to its website.

Trackside, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, must raise nearly all of its funds for operating costs through donations, fundraisers and by renting its space to other organizations. The town of Wilton provides Trackside with a portion of its staffing costs.

For more information about the teen center, visit Trackside's website .

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