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Closed-Down Youth Center Becomes Multimedia Center for Teens

Students can earn high school credit starting Sept. 19 at San Rafael facility.

Every Marin County teen who digs tech gadgets ought to listen up: The site of the former Marin Youth Center, which shut down in mid-August, is reopening Sept. 19 as a multimedia learning center where students can earn school credit, according to a release from the Marin County Office of Education.

The renamed Marin Regional Occupational Program Media Center opens at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 19 in downtown San Rafael with a full slate of project-based multimedia learning for Marin County middle and high school youth that includes audio and video production along with graphics, 3D prototyping, mobile “app” development, and robotics.

The center is at 1115 Third St. in San Rafael, former site of the Marin Youth Center, better known as the MYC or "the Mike." Kids from all over Marin regularly used the facilities at the MYC, and organizers say they hope that trend will continue with the new focus on technology.

“This is a wonderful learning opportunity for both middle and high school students across the county," said Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke. "We are very fortunate to have so many community partners supporting Marin County students.”

The Intel Clubhouse at the MYC has been a successful after-school program, offering Marin students a safe place to learn valuable state-of-the-art technology skills. Over the past six years, the clubhouse offered project-based learning activities in media production, graphics and sound. Now, through a partnership with the Marin County Office of Education, course programming there will be aligned with the ROP curriculum for 21st century technical skills through the use of technology.

The new curricular structure will incorporate the California Department of Education’s Foundation Standards in the Multimedia and Engineering Industry Sectors and, in turn, high school students are eligible to earn high school credit.

The Marin County Office of Education School to Career Partnership will also provide high-quality, work-based learning opportunities for students in technology and engineering career areas.

“We’re excited about this partnership. Both MCOE and the Intel Clubhouse have a very solid foundation upon which to build. We know that there is much work to be done, and we look forward to furthering our collaboration with our many partners to help Marin County students prepare for college, careers, and life,” said clubhouse director John MacLeod.

An open-house designed for parents, students, and the public to learn more about class offerings and the registration process is planned for 4-7 p.m. Sept. 22.

The MYC opened to much fanfare in 2004 and became a hot spot for all sorts of activities for teens, ranging from cooking lessons to technical lab work to rock concerts. In August when it was announced that the MTC was shutting down, organizers said four jobs would be saved at the Intel Clubhouse could stay open. In all, there were 10 employees at the MYC.

Thomas Peters, president of the which owns the center, told the Marin Independent Journal in August that the decision to close the MYC was not "based on performance problems with staffers or Bay Area Community Resources," the organization that ran the program.

Eleanor Sluis September 15, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Thanks, Brent, I applaud the county and Marin Community Foundation for providing activities and space for the youth of Marin in San Rafael. Novato needs extra support for its youth activities, also. Let's work together towards the vision of healthier and more productive activitiies for youth.

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