Suzanne BakerContact Reporter Naperville Sun

free drop-in center for students is opening on Aurora’s far East Side.

Starting Sept. 17, the Alive Center in Naperville is bringing drop-in hours for students in grades six to 12 to the Aurora Public Library’s Eola Road facility.

Officials said Alive@Eola is designed to meet the demands of teens who already are hanging out at the library after school.

The drop-in hours will be available from 2:30 to 5 p.m. every Monday through the end of the year in the rooms north of the computer lab.

Teens are invited to participate in art, games, the Alive “Real Talk” series, movies and other activities during the program.

In addition, free drop-in tutoring from the high school nonprofit The Merry Tutor will be available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Mondays for all students at the library. Parents can register their children here or older kids can register themselves at the library.

“The partnership with the Alive Center is a natural one,” said Daisy Porter-Reynolds, executive director of the Aurora Public Library, in a press release. “Both the library and the center work to empower teens through arts, academics and community connections. Working together, our resources multiply and our reach is deeper.”

The Alive Center’s free drop-in hours provide activities for local students to come together to learn, create and socialize in a safe, supervised environment, organizers said.

“This is the first of what we hope will be many Alive Centers,” said Alive Center CEO Kandice Henning in the release. “ … We are very impressed by the results we have seen to date and we want to share our model with others.”

Besides free tutoring and mentoring, programs at the Alive Center in Naperville include classes and workshops on a variety of topics such as leadership, career development, healthy cooking, art and music, drug prevention and awareness, anti-bullying and cyber safety information, community service projects and more.

The majority of these programs are teen-led and teen-driven to make them relevant for the younger teens while giving the older teens a place to lead, organizers said.

For more information, contact the Alive Center at

Twitter @SbakerSun