The Sag Harbor Youth Committee, Inc. is a 501 c not for profit organization, formed by Linley Pennebaker Hagen and Nada Barry.
Our impetus for us to start this organization began the day after Christmas trees were put up on Main Street in Sag Harbor almost 20 years ago. We noticed that most of the light bulbs were thrown on the ground and broken. In addition, we saw a lot of young people starting to hang out on Main Street in groups, and their presence was disturbing to some Sag Harbor visitors.
At that time, we were aware that there were plenty of programs for the younger kids, yet not much for the older kids to do. There weren’t nearly enough activities, sports and programs available for the older children of our community. So we drew up a questionnaire and distributed this to the children of Sag Harbor Schools, Stella Maris, and the Hampton Day School. We asked what they were interested in and the results showed that there was a huge need for new programs and it was time to get this going!
We solicited community members to start programs such as art classes, Martial Arts, drama workshops for children at Bay Street Theater, offer babysitting workshops and more. We managed to get the East Hampton Recreation Director and the Southampton Town recreation Director to meet each other at one of our meetings and discuss where they could assist us and we talked to the Park Board about new programs. We were also able to get Pierson High School administrators to agree to keep the High School gym open on Saturday nights. One summer, we offered a program developed at school, with a little skateboard set up and different activities that children could sign up for.
In addition, we held two ‘Speak Outs’ for teens at Bay Street, where kids could ask questions directly to the Sag Harbor Chief of Police, the Sag Harbor Village Mayor, the Director of the John Jermaine Memorial Library and the Directors of East Hampton and Southampton Recreation Centers. This resulted in offering transportation for our kids to get to and from programs, adding children’s movies at the old Movie House on Main Street in Sag Harbor and adding more teen books at the library.
We started distributing small pamphlets listing all kids’ activities taking place, four times a year. Subsequently, we printed 6 different editions of a brochure of information. This brochure included the names of programs, locations and contact information for children in our area, including parks, 24 museums, transportation, workshops, where to find help or support, and much more. A few years ago, we developed a web site with a calendar of activities for children our Sag Harbor area; most of this information is now on our web site.
Today, we continue our mission of providing families and their children with current resources to find the activities, programs and events to keep them engaged, learning, meeting other children and happy. We encourage and welcome the involvement, fresh ideas and volunteering of parents who have children in and around the Sag Harbor area!