Alton, IL – September 20, 2011 –  In addition to the daily bus transportation available to Alton Middle School and High School Students each weekday for after school programming, a third bus will be available to transport students from St. Mary's Middle School beginning September 26.

Thanks to funding from a grant to Drug Free Alton, and with the cooperation and assistance of St. Mary's Middle School, even more students will be able to enjoy the benefits of after school tutoring and study time at no cost. These funds will be used to underwrite the cost of the transportation using St. Mary's bus. Transportation will be available after school for sixth through eighth grade students at St. Mary's leaving at 3:00 p.m. each weekday.

Last year RBCC partnered with Hayner Library; now Drug Free Alton and St. Mary's are joining the team. Funding sources are still needed for additional transportation needs for the Center. Those interested in donating should contact Michelle Pawloski at the Center.

The Riverbender.com Community Center is open to its members, grades 6 through 12, from 3pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday.  During these hours the Center offers a variety of services and entertainment options ranging from homework help, reading programs, and free online tutoring offered in partnership with Hayner Library, to group study, music and art lessons, video games, movies, contests, and much more.  The goal is to inspire, encourage, and provide area youth with an abundance of educational and entertainment opportunities in a safe and affordable environment.

As students enter the facility each day, they are asked to pick from two main programs; “Education with Rewards” or “Affordable Entertainment”.  They can alternate between these two main programs each and every day if they choose.  If they are trying to catch up in school, need a little help with a particular subject, or have a lot of homework they may choose the completely free education program which is offered on the 2nd floor.  If they need a break from the books and are looking to hang out with friends and enjoy all that the Center has to offer they can choose the $5 entertainment option which  gives them access to the main level and “The Underground”.  Based on demand and availability, the $5 option will also give them limited access to music lessons, art lessons, and various other lessons. Each of these programs has limited capacity and students are taken on a first come first serve basis.  Students who choose the “Education with Rewards” option are rewarded with free access to the games, movie theater, and more, after a good hour of learning. Regardless of the program chosen, all students are required to have a membership ID card to use the facility.

Memberships are available at the price of $20 a year for an individual or $30 a year for a family (two or more students between 6th and 12th grade).  For more information on membership and upcoming events please visit the Center's website at www.riverbender.com/communitycenter or call (618) 465-9850, ext. 212. Applications for volunteers and are always accepted and appreciated. The Center's Adult Advisory Committee is also always on the lookout for members; this group helps guide and direct the Center by planning events and programming.

The Riverbender.com Community Center is a 15,000 square foot facility on three levels offering a safe place for kids to hang out with their friends or make new ones, where kids can be themselves without bullying or intimidation from others.  The focus of the Center is to provide youth the chance to experiment with new ideas, games, and activities like art and music and avoid at-risk behaviors and negative peer pressure.

The Center features a dance floor and main stage, movie theater, internet cafe, pool tables, foosball, darts, air hockey, pinball, table tennis, pop-a-shot, Xbox, Wii, PS3, Xbox Kinect, Play Station Move,  board games, art studio, music room, snack bar and concessions, teen library, and much more.

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