HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – The Teen Outreach Program (TOP Club), an after-school program for middle schoolers, is welcoming students to join in multiple school districts in the western Upper Peninsula. The club is offered through a collaboration between Dial Help and the Houghton/Keweenaw Communities That Care Coalition (HKCTC) and is funded by Portage Health Foundation and Prevention Network.

The club is free and includes weekly meetings, community service learning, and lessons in topics like emotion management, problem solving, goal setting, and adolescent health and wellness with the goal to build resiliency and leadership skills, and lower rates of drug use in youth.

A release from Dial Help says a biennial survey in local schools organized by HKCTC found a low-perceived risk of drug use among many students and helped prompt the group to work with Dial Help to bring the club to the area.

Currently, TOP Club is available in middle schools in Calumet, Chassell, Dollar Bay, Ewen-Trout Creek, Hancock, Houghton, and Lake Linden. The clubs additionally meet together at certain times for extracurricular activities like sledding and ice skating.

“The Teen Outreach Program is such an incredible club for teens!” said Callisto Cortez, HKCTC Coordinator. “Between the ages of 11-14 is such a crucial time in a child’s development. Being able to help them learn how to build healthy relationships, life skills, and self-confidence is important.”

Parents and high school students are invited to volunteer at TOP Club meetings at each school. Donation are also welcomed to help pay for club resources. You can donate electronically here.

To find meeting dates and other information about TOP Club, visit www.uptopclubs.com, email teenoutreachprogram@dialhelp.org, or call Dial Help Prevention Coordinator Lisa Simpson at 906-482-9077, extension 304.