Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Youth Bureau

June 12, 2020 - 3:26pm

Press release:

As with the Liberty Center for Youth, the Batavia City Youth Bureau and Genesee County YMCA are partnering once again to provide a safe child care option for the families of Batavia.

Due to the cancellation of the Batavia Youth Bureau's Summer Rec program until the 2021 summer season, The YMCA will be hosting summer camp at their branch beginning Monday, June 29th through Friday, Sept. 4th.

The YMCA offers a variety of care options to fit each families needs. Thanks to the United Way, the YMCA’s Annual Strong Communities Campaign, and personal donations, the YMCA has the opportunity to offer scholarship assistance to those who qualify.

The YMCA Scholarship Program provides confidential financial assistance for memberships and programs. Additionally the YMCA also accepts child care payment plans through the Department of Social Services. No one is denied services because of inability to pay.

Just as with Summer Rec, participants will still have free access to the summer feeding program being provided by the Batavia City School District with breakfast and lunch daily. Batavia School Nutritional Services is committed to providing well-balanced meals efficiently and effectively, while promoting healthy lifestyle choices, in addition to supporting a nurturing environment.

When a child has access to good nutrition, it empowers students to grow in body and mind. By supporting each building administration’s goals to serve students and staff professionally, we hope to support excellence in nutrition promoting lifelong health and wellness.

For more information on the Summer Feeding Program, please contact School Lunch Director Susan Presher: (585) 343-2480, ext. 1007.

Families may sign up for one week or multiple weeks. Care is offered daily 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. (half-day option runs 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.) for children ages 3-15.

  • Five Day Option, YMCA Member Rate $175, Non-Member Rate $220
  • Three Day Option, YMCA Member Rate $132, Non-Member Rate $165
  • Half Day Option (7 a.m. - 12 p.m.), YMCA Member Rate $70, Non-Member Rate $95

Weekly themes, activities and registrations packets can be found under the summer camp tab at:   www.glowymca.org

For further information on camp programs, membership or financial aid, please reach out to Charitie Bruning, Child Care Director at [email protected]

Space is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

June 2, 2020 - 9:15am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Youth Bureau, Human Services Committee, COVID-19.

Mention the Genesee County Youth Bureau and thoughts of after-school activities or arts and crafts may come to mind. But, as you learn more about the agency’s operation, it becomes clear that interaction with today’s adolescent population is not all fun and games.

Youth Bureau Director Jocelyn Sikorski touched on a couple of the more serious issues on Monday as she presented a departmental review and outlook at the County Legislature’s Human Services Committee Zoom videoconferencing meeting.

Sikorski said the bureau received 30 referrals – the most ever – to Youth Court in 2019, with 24 of them coming from law enforcement and the remainder from schools and the Probation Department.

Eighteen of the referrals (and subsequent trials) occurred in the last three months of the year, resulting in a very busy time for Program Coordinator Chelsea Elliott and Program Assistant Chelsea Green, she said.

She recounted the story of a 15-year-old boy who was referred to Youth Court on a criminal mischief complaint and ended up having to perform 35 hours of community service, write three essays for reflection and a letter of apology, and take anger management classes.

“A lot of his issues were with his father, specifically, and as a result, she (Elliott) placed them to do community service at our local animal shelter,” Sikorski said. “And because of his age they asked that a parent be with him.”

Sikorski said that the boy and his dad completed the service together at the animal shelter and they continue to do so.

“On top of completing the community service hours and building the relationship with his father – which was something that was vital to his success – they are still supporting our local animal shelter,” Sikorski reported. “He is one of our positives out of our Youth Court system. They’re all very positive, but that’s one that really stood out.”

The director also shared a story connected to the department’s Safe Harbour program that deals with child trafficking and human trafficking. The youth bureau is in the first year of a five-year funding cycle through a contract with the Department of Social Services.

“Since COVID started, we had a call from Restore (a program of Planned Parenthood) and they said they have a young woman who they believed is being trafficked who was coming in for medical services, but they couldn’t ask her because the individual who was potentially trafficking her was coming to all her appointments,” Sikorski said.

Due to the virus guidelines, that other person was not allowed in the exam room, and that gave counselors a chance to provide resources such as domestic violence information and a list of places where the woman could go for temporary housing.

Sikorski said the young woman has two small children, so “she’s not necessarily ready to leave, but if she needs help, she knows where she can get it now and they were able to have that conversation with her.”

She said the bureau’s goal this year is to provide community education and training and to conduct a media campaign leading to a needs assessment to youth-serving professionals (police, school counselors) who work with anyone that would come in contact with a young person who could be at risk of being trafficked.

In 2019, the youth bureau distributed 35 Go Bags to at-risk or runaway youth, Sikorski said. These backpacks include supplies for a night – health and beauty products, a blanket, hat and gloves, granola bars, trail mix, bottled water and gift card for coffee. Twenty-seven of the Go Bags went to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, which has a bag in the trunk of all its patrol cars.

On the subject of activities and events for youth, Sikorski said COVID-19 has brought things to a standstill and that could be the case for a while longer since youth programs are in Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan.

“Our funded programs, all but one are closed and not operating at this time,” she said. “I’m waiting to hear back from some of our funded youth rec programs for the summer months.”

Sikorski said springtime is normally the bureau’s busiest time of the year,

“About every other week we had major events scheduled, and moving into the summer as well that we have had to cancel or postpone,” she said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll have some semblance of normalcy in the fall where we will be able to get back to doing the things we routinely do for our community, but it has been a challenge.”


The Genesee County Youth Bureau provides a variety of services, activities and events, primarily in Genesee County, including the Liberty Center for Youth in the City of Batavia, and also in Orleans County. For more information, go to its website

June 1, 2020 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county youth court, news, Youth Bureau.

Press release:

Calling all eighth- to 11th-graders in Genesee County interested in Youth Court! Youth Court is a voluntary alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement.

Youth who are referred admit to the charge and appear before a court of their peers. There are three youth judges who listen to both sides of the issue and determine an appropriate disposition. The goal of Youth Court is to improve youth citizenship skills and decrease problematic behavior.

Youth Court members learn about the judicial process and law enforcement, group decision making; develop their public speaking skills; participate in a great leadership opportunity; and learn and participate in all roles of the courtroom: judge, prosecution, defense, and bailiff.

Eighth- to 11th-graders who are interested can go online to access an application form on the Genesee County website.

Print the application, fill it out and:

  • Mail it to: Chelsea Elliott, Youth Court, Genesee County Youth Bureau, 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020
  • Or scan it electronically and email it to:   [email protected]
  • Or fax it to: (585) 345-3063

Applications are due by July 31st.

Interviews of potential candidates will take place in August with the training to begin in October.

For more information on the Genesee County Youth Court, please contact Chelsea Elliott at the Genesee County Youth Bureau, 344-3960.

November 26, 2019 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in NYS Governor's Youth Council, Youth Bureau, news.

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Youth Bureau has been tasked with helping the Governor’s Office select a young person to represent each county on the newly established New York State Governor's Youth Council.

Members of the Youth Council will be offering ideas and solutions to key issues facing young people in New York State to the Governor and other policy makers, including how to have better outreach and communication strategies.

This is an incredible opportunity for New York’s youth to represent their county on a statewide level.

The Youth Council will be made up of 62 young people ages 13 – 21, one representing each county and the burroughs of New York City. The Youth Council is youth run and adult supported. Members will work to identify and prioritize issues that matter to NYS youth.

"Positive Youth Development" has always been the mantra of local youth bureaus and the Youth Council will assist state and local governments to promote youth throughout all its state initiatives.

The Genesee-Orleans Youth Bureau is currently coordinating the counties' selection process.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 20.

The selection committee will evaluate applications based on three areas.

  • Candidate Essay: Each candidate must write a short essay response (no more than 500 words) supporting three questions. The essay will be judged for content, clarity and overall quality.
  • Public Speaking: Each candidate will prepare, deliver and submit a video speech (MP4 or URL link). The video should demonstrate the youth’s passion, interest, expertise and/or experience in one or more of the topic areas. Candidates will be judged on speech content and delivery.
  • Overall Application Quality: Clarity, passion, completion of each section and quality of supplemental materials. Candidate’s character will be evaluated through demonstrated qualities such as leadership skills, academic achievement, civic engagement, services to the community and work ethic.

It is also important to note that social media pages will be reviewed and part of the criteria to be evaluated.

If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, please call the Genesee-Orleans County Youth Bureau at (585) 344-3960, go online to the Genesee County website for the Youth Bureau, or apply here.

August 30, 2019 - 4:10pm

Press release:

Liberty Center for Youth, 114 Liberty St., is set to open to all youth ages 9-16 in the City of Batavia at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5th.

The Liberty Center for Youth (former St. Anthony’s school) is a joint agency project between the City of Batavia Youth Bureau, and the GLOW YMCA.

The focus of this project is to broaden the services offered to the youth of Batavia and have it conveniently located in one facility. The property is owned by City Church.

“Locating this facility in heart of the City, to serve our youth, is the right move,” said City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. “I believe that the enrollment for the City of Batavia Youth Bureau programs will continue to grow and this will be 'the place' where kids want to go.

"They will find a positive caring environment here lead by the City Youth Bureau.” 

The United Way of Genesee County has contributed $50,000 to the project and will be providing funding for an additional five years at $10,000 per year.

“The United Way is excited to partner with the City of Batavia and the GLOW YMCA to make this project a reality,” said Tammy Hathaway, regional director of the United Way of Genesee County.

“This project fits within our mission to motivate and organize people...through a unified, community-wide effort to mobilize resources and apply them to best serve the needs of Genesee County.”

The new location will offer a technology center with 10 new computers donated by Marchese Computer Products, 10 brand new tablets, and a smart board with wireless capabilities. The Liberty Center for Youth will provide free tutoring and homework assistance.

The facility will contain a game room with pool, air hockey, ping-pong, and foosball, as well as a four-square court and gaming room with a PS4 and Wii. 

The former cafeteria has undergone a major renovation turning it into a multipurpose room where students are encouraged to socialize, and grab a snack. A free snack will be provided daily to participants. The cafeteria will also be used for special events such as Art, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Music, and other activity nights.

This location also offers a gymnasium to allow for year-round sports activities.

“This has been a dream of ours for a while,” said Lydia Schauf, program coordinator City of Batavia Youth Bureau. “We have wanted to find a central location where we could make the most impact on the Youth of our City, we wanted a place where they could feel comfortable to socialize and be active but most of all to provide a safe environment.”

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau has prided itself in offering free, safe and fun activities to youth and is excited and encouraged by this new endeavor. The staff of the Youth Bureau is capable, trained and ready to see a very successful first year of programming at the new location.

“It has been an amazing journey of learning, problem solving and growing as we have developed this partnership over the last three years," said Jeff Townsend, executive director of GLOW YMCA.

"Working together as a non-profit and government entity has been way less challenging than first thought. I appreciate this opportunity in my career to see a vision come to life. And I’m thankful to have worked alongside Jocelyn Sikorski on this project.” 

The Liberty Center will be open year-round. Hours of operation are as follows 2:30-6 p.m. during school and 1-6 p.m. during school breaks and summer vacation. 

Registration is free and participation forms can be found at 114 Liberty St. or on the City of Batavia website under the Youth Bureau Department.

If there are any questions please call Lydia Schauf of the City Youth Bureau at (585) 815-5308. Transportation will be offered afterschool to the facility but must be arranged through the Batavia Central School District.

August 30, 2019 - 12:41pm
Video Sponsor
August 12, 2019 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, Genesee Youth Lead Program, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 6.

The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands on experience.  Each session will have a different focus on our community and leadership.

The Youth Lead Program will take place at GVEP BOCES beginning Oct. 9, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held once a month on the second Wednesdays of each month.

The program dates are: Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Jan. 8, Feb. 12, March 11, April 8, and May 13.

Youth that complete the program are encouraged to use the skills and information gained through their experience to support the communities in which they live.

The selection process will be done through an application and interview process by the staff. The class size is limited.

The program will cost $75 for each student. If there is an economic hardship please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau.

Applications for the program can be found here. Please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau with questions at (585)344-3960 or at [email protected].

August 5, 2019 - 10:03am

liberty_center_logo.pngCalling it a “mad dash to the finish line,” City of Batavia Youth Bureau Executive Director Jocelyn Sikorski is counting down the days to the opening of the Liberty Center for Youth at the former St. Anthony’s School on Liberty Street.

A joint venture of the City of Batavia and the Genesee Area Family YMCA, the Liberty Center for Youth – until now known as the Teen City project – will provide a variety of services and activities for students from the ages of 9-16, with hours of 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year and 1 to 6 p.m. during the summer.

It will replace the current Batavia Youth Bureau on MacArthur Drive, which will be closing its doors on Aug. 16, Sikorski said.

“We will start the move to the Liberty Street site (owned by City Church) on Aug. 19 and a kickoff event is planned for Aug. 29,” she said. “The actual launch (for kids) will take place on the first day of school (Sept. 4)."

Programs for youth will take place on the first and second floors while administrative offices will be housed on the third floor.

Sikorski, who also is in charge of the Genesee-Orleans Youth Bureau, and Jeff Townsend, district executive director of GLOW YMCA Inc., continue to oversee the ambitious venture, which stemmed from the results of a United Way needs assessment survey several years ago.

“The concept of Teen City came from the efforts of Erik Fix, who was director of the Genesee United Way at the time,” Sikorski recalled. “He put together a community needs assessment, with the results stating the need for more services for youth and teens. Erik was instrumental in getting the other players to the table.”

Fix, who now manages an M&T Bank branch in Rochester, said the needs assessment survey was conducted in 2013 when the United Way was “looking at who we were funding and why we were funding.”

“What we found was that there wasn’t enough (services) for that age group (teens and preteens),” he said. “So we took a look at boys and girls clubs and, after much deliberation, felt that the youth bureau and the YMCA were logical partners.”

He said they considered several locations before deciding on the former St. Anthony’s School.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring some life back to that part of the city and to restore the use of that building,” Fix said.

Townsend credited the United Way for igniting the spark that has led to a true community collaboration.

“This project would not be possible without the generosity of the United Way,” he said. “They not only did the needs assessment survey but they also put their money where their mouth was – and helped us generate much-needed additional support.”

Indeed, as the local United Way put up $50,000 for renovations of the building and has pledged another $10,000 annually to sustain the program.

Other contributions and grants have been provided by Bullet Aid, Rochester Regional Health, Ralph Wilson Legacy Funds, Rotary Club of Batavia, NYS Education Department, State Aid Recreation Program, YMCA of the USA and Marchese Computer Products.

The Genesee County Department of Social Services is funding special programming such as job coaching, life skills training, foster care support and peer relations.

Partnerships also have been forged with Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Genesee County Probation, Liberty Partnership at Genesee Community College, Batavia City Fire and Police departments, Richmond Memorial Library, GO ART! and Genesee County Business Education Alliance.

Even the cool logo (inset above) was created and donated by local artist Heather Ellsworth.

Both Sikorski and Townsend said opportunities exist for additional businesses that wish to promote activities for teens to get on board.

Townsend said the Teen City committee supports the new name as it “differentiates” itself from the landlord, City Church.

“Teen City may have tied it (the youth center) too closely to City Church,” he said. “This separates it from church functions. We don’t want City Church staff getting calls from parents concerning issues with the youth center.”

The start-up and subsequent daily operation of the Liberty Center for Youth are being split 50/50 by the City Youth Bureau and YMCA.

“We reduced costs by sharing the load -- mirroring our staffing, along with program expenses and what we have to offer,” Sikorski said, adding that the agencies have agreed to a five-year memorandum of understanding.

They’ve also worked together on grant funding, Townsend said, noting that the best thing is that it is free to the students.

When students arrive at the new youth center – busing will be provided by the Batavia City School District from the high school, middle school and John Kennedy Intermediate School – they will find the following:

-- A homework/technology room with 10 computer stations. (A “quiet room” until 4:30 p.m., Sikorski said.)

-- Cafeteria set up for arts & crafts, board games, skill-building activities and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects.

-- A game room for ping-pong, foosball, air hockey, pool and table games.

-- Four-square and video game rooms.

-- Second-floor gymnasium.

Snacks will be provided on a daily basis, Sikorski said, but must stay in the cafeteria. The youth center’s code of conduct will align with that of the school district and must be signed by both the child and the parent/guardian.

Much renovation has been done to get the building in shape, Townsend said, including the placement of 28 security cameras inside and outside, and making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As far as staffing is concerned, Sikorski said the ratio of employees to youth will be at most 1:15, and both classrooms will always have an employee on duty.

The on-site staff of at least six part-timers will be supervised by Lydia Schauf, City Youth Bureau program coordinator, and Charitie Bruning, YMCA child care director.

Sikorski said the school district intends to find a use for the existing youth bureau building and pay all related expenses.

July 18, 2019 - 12:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, news, summer recreation program.

Important notice from the City of Batavia Youth Bureau:

Due to the extreme temperatures forecasted for tomorrow Friday, July 19, the City of Batavia Summer Recreation Program will be closed. 

But the Youth Center at 12 MacArthur Drive will remain open from 1-6 p.m. for children ages 10-18.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but this decision has been made for the safety of everybody concerned.

The Summer Recreation Program will resume as scheduled on Monday July 22nd.

Please feel free to contact the City of Batavia Youth Bureau with any questions or concerns (345-6422). Please stay safe and cool!

Lydia Schauf, program coordinator 

City of Batavia Youth Bureau

Phone: (585)345-6422

Email: [email protected]

July 15, 2019 - 3:12pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, community garden, news, Youth Bureau.

The Batavia Community Garden, located at 12 MacArthur Drive next to the Batavia Youth Bureau, is expanding and being reorganized as the Youth Bureau transitions to its new St. Anthony’s at City Church location on Liberty Street.

The Community Garden recently removed its south fence and added a 4,400-square-foot expansion. The extended gardening space allowed for four 4’ x 4’ and four 4’ x 8’ raised beds to be constructed and placed in the garden by volunteers during the United Way Day of Caring in May.

The addition of a 12’ x 16’ wooden pergola is underway and will be completed during the 2020 growing season. The shaded pergola will serve as a community social meeting area within the garden to supplement the existing shaded resting spot.

The Community Garden Advisory Board is also facing changes to its leadership due to vacant positions. These were created when City Manager Martin Moore learned that two volunteer advisory board members, Bob Gray and Carol Boshart, were not city residents as required by a provision in the city charter.

This resulted in the reappointment of those members as non-voting special liaisons to the board. The reassignment caused frustration among board members due to a proposed change to city municipal code that relaxes residency requirements for city employees.

At the June 24 City Council meeting, council members were welcome to a review of the charter in order to reconcile the issue with the advisory board.

“They discussed it and why they had to enforce it. It was a city charter versus a municipal code. But, I’m still here — being a master gardener is a passion,” Bob Gray said.

Gray cofounded the garden in 2011 and served as the former secretary before his Stafford residency caused him to become a non-voting liaison.

“They’ve been very supportive," Gray said of the city, despite his reappointment. "Whenever we need anything, we just shoot them an email and it gets tended to.”

The City of Batavia supports the garden through maintenance work and funding.

Jocelyn Sikorski, Youth Bureau director and Community Garden coordinator, acts as a liaison between the city and the garden. She said that the reorganization of board members has presented some challenges that the board is working to overcome.

“[The special liaisons] were part of the group that started this," Sikorski said. "So, they really are invested and they care about it overall. Those are the people that we want at the table, and I don’t have city residents banging down my door to fill those two vacant spots."

Sikorski recognized that there will be further changes for the Community Garden as the Youth Bureau relocates to its new 114 Liberty St., Batavia, home. The Youth Bureau will continue to collaborate with the garden although the Batavia City School District will occupy its former facility.

“We will probably establish a different type of Youth Garden at St. Anthony’s starting next year," Sikorski said. "We will keep bringing the kids over throughout the end of the summer and into the fall to maintain these beds once we have relocated and close our doors here.”

In the midst of these changes, the garden's community outreach continues. Throughout the season, surplus produce and cut flowers are donated to benefit individuals at Washington Towers and Crossroads House.

“A lot of cities our size don’t have community gardens," Gray said. "This is an asset.”

Photo by Lauren Leone.

July 5, 2019 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, Announcements, batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia’s Youth Bureau is open at 12 MacArthur Drive through Aug. 16th, Monday through Friday from 1 – 6 p.m.

The Youth Center is a free service available to youth ages 10-18 who reside in Batavia.]

Free nutritious lunches are available to all participants now through Aug. 9 during a designated time daily. Snacks are also provided daily.

The Youth Center offers outside activities, computer use, crafts, games, Wednesday movie days, and monthly scheduled events. Registration is simple, just stop in!

Upcoming events at the Youth Center include:

  • Every Wednesday is movie day, popcorn included;
  • Today is the July 5th summer cookout;
  • July 8th -- video game tournament;
  • July 12th Jell-O Day complete with Jell-O races (safe for all ages);
  • July 16th National Mac and Cheese Day;
  • July 18th make your own hotdog pretzels;
  • July 22nd National Ice Cream Day;
  • July 23rd Bingo;
  • July 29th National Chicken Wing Day with wing dip!;
  • July 31st Harry Potter Day.

The Summer Safe Carnival is July 25th starting at 10 a.m. at the Falleti Ice Rink. Guaranteed fun for all ages. Any questions, call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

June 18, 2019 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Youth Bureau.

Press release:

Are you looking for a fun program to get your children involved in this summer? Well, the 2019 Batavia Summer Recreation Program, operated by the Batavia Youth Bureau, is scheduled for July 1-Aug. 9 (no program on July 4).

This year a structured program will be run in four city parks and they are as follows: Farrell, Lambert, Lions and Williams. There will be NO John Kennedy site this year due to construction at the school.

This FREE program has something for everyone…sports, arts and crafts, educational activities, physical activity, creativity, socialization, fun, health and wellness, and much more. A FREE and nutritious lunch will also be available to those children who are registered.

Each park will be run by two to five recreation leaders who will have participated in a two-day training in the areas of: Basic First Aid; Child Abuse Indicators and Reporting Procedures; Working with Diverse Populations/Bullying; Crafts and Games; Youth Development; and the Importance of Recreation.

The recreation leaders will also have participated in basic CPR Training.

During the training, Youth Bureau staff continually stress the importance of safety. Keeping the young participants safe is of the utmost importance and is our number one concern. Each park will also be equipped with a cellular phone for emergency situations.

The Parks Program is offered to youngsters ages 6-14. It is a drop-in program that runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This program is for school-aged children and is not an appropriate daycare situation.

The recreation leaders at each park will be responsible for structuring their individual park and creating a schedule each week that will be sent home with each child.

The program will be primarily recreational in nature, but will also have an educational component. In addition to the activities offered directly at the park, we have scheduled swimming at the YMCA, Safe Summer Children’s Carnival, Muckdogs Camp, Trips to the Nature Center at the Genesee County Park, Community Service Day, Hula Hoop presentations and more!

The Youth Bureau will be offering an Open House from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26th at Farrell Park, 100 James St., to preregister children for the program.

This is also an opportunity for parents to ask questions and become more familiar with each aspect of the program.

You can register your child for a park on any day that the program runs. You will be asked to complete a registration card for your child or children for emergency purposes and to sign a walking field trip permission slip. A separate registration card will need to be completed to participate in the lunch program.

Each child must be registered to attend a program at a park.

For more information about the 2019 Summer Recreation Program, call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

June 10, 2019 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, news, Announcements, Youth Lead Program.

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.

The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands on experience. Each session will have a different focus on our community and leadership.

For complete information about the program, click here.

The program will cost $75 for each student. If there is an economic hardship please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau. 

The Youth Lead Program will take place at GVEP BOCES beginning Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held once a month on the second Wednesdays of each month.

The program dates are: Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Jan. 8, Feb. 12, March 11, April 8, and May 13.

Youth that complete the program are encouraged to use the skills and information gained through their experience to support the communities in which they live.

The selection process will be done through an application and interview process by the staff. The class size is limited.

 Applications for the program can be found here.

 Please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau with questions at (585) 344-3960 or at [email protected].

May 13, 2019 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in teen city, St. Anthony's, batavia, Youth Bureau, news, notify.


The planned move of the Youth Bureau to St. Anthony's on Liberty Street, Batavia, is on schedule and the new program should open in time for the school year this fall, said Jocelyn Sikorski in an interview last week.

Sikorski is the director of both the city's and the county's Youth Bureau and the combined program will move from its current location at 12 MacArthur Drive, Batavia, this summer.

The Youth Bureau will go from a 1,800-square-foot building to more than 11,000 square feet of available space, and from a location practically on the outskirts of the City to one near the center of the city and closer to the underserved youth population on the Southside.

St. Anthony's has already become an important youth activity spot thanks to its owner, City Church, and the work of Ryan Macdonald, who leads youth and community activities on Tuesday nights.

Teen City will offer after-school programs to youths age 9 to 16, including a classroom/tech room, recreation room, gaming room, cafeteria, kitchen and full gymnasium during program hours, which are set at 2:30 to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday during the school year, and 1 to 6 p.m. during the summer.

"There are a lot of youth on the Southside who want those services, who are utilizing those services with Ryan on Tuesday nights, so we’re going to meet the needs of the community as they are and serve those kids who may not be coming to the youth center because of its current location," Sikorski.

The move is expected to be completed in August.

Teen City is a joint project of the Youth Bureau, St. Anthonys's/City Church, the YMCA, and United Way.

"It’s worked out well," Macdonald said. "We love the kids. We think the kids, for the most part, love us. We’re looking for the whole community to be involved.

"We can’t do it on our own and that’s the key takeaway," Macdonald added. "The YMCA is going to be involved the Youth Bureau, the City and the County, United Way is going to be involved. I think that’s an important takeaway because not one entity can do it all on their own. If we work together at it we can get a whole lot more done."

With 100 kids showing up every Tuesday at St. Anthony's, Sikorski said there is ample evidence there is demand for a program like Teen City that is easier for more kids in the city to reach.

With the help of the school district, transportation will be provided to kids who might find St. Anthony's too far away to walk or bike to.

"The other positive is we're modeling the school's behavior and rules with what we’re developing so there will be consistency for these kids," Sikorski "They will know what their expectations are. It’s not going to be any different.

"This will be supervised and structured and it will be a safe place for those kids to go," she added.

The former Youth Bureau building will be taken over by City Schools. Superintendent Chris Dailey said near-term plans are for the high school to use the front parking lot and the building for storage during the ongoing capital improvement project.

The community garden behind the Youth Bureau building will be able to expand into the basketball court area.

Macdonald said he sees this as a positive move for what City Church offers at St. Anthony's and the children of the community.  The Tuesday night programs themselves are expensive to run and only survive because of the generous support of sponsors. Now the children of the area will have more options and more support.

"We’ve all needed somebody to speak into our lives, to love us, to care for us at certain points, and not to say the parents aren’t doing that but we want to add to it," Macdonald said.


The Batavia Youth Bureau moved to the former community pool location in 1998 after the City sold the Bank Street location, which housed the youth bureau and senior services, to the County, which took over the Senior Center at that time. Now it's moving to St. Anthony's.

April 22, 2019 - 4:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, Family Game Night, batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau will host the 16th annual Family Game Night in celebration of National County Government Month.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 25th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at County Building 2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

The night will consist of interactive booths for families to learn more about the services provided by the county through the departments as well as prizes and activities. The cost is $5 for a family of four and $3 for an individual which includes a light dinner and beverages.

Each family will take home one brand new board game after they visit each booth. Families also have the chance to enter to win free Muckdogs game tickets as well as free six-inch subs from Subway!

Adults must be accompanied by a child to receive the board game.

Please call the Youth Bureau for more information or to register at 344-3960.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau would also like to thank Batavia Kiwanis Club, Batavia Muckdogs, Upstate Milk, Big Pauly’s Pizzeria, Batavia’s Original, Walmart, Settler’s Family Restaurant, Subway, and Tops Friendly Markets for making donations to this event.

February 8, 2019 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County & City of Batavia Youth Boards continue to seek nominations for their annual Youth Recognition Banquet.

Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 15th.

There are three awards presented at the Youth Recognition Banquet:

  • Youth Recognition Award — This award recognizes young people who have performed exceptional service to the community and/or have assumed extraordinary roles in their families. Typically, the best candidates for this award are high school students, but we also know there are 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds who exemplify distinctive qualities of service. Several youths will be recognized; however the Youth Boards reserve the right to limit the number of recipients.
  • Adult Volunteer Award — This award recognizes an adult who provides service as a volunteer to youth in Genesee County.
  • Adult Youth Worker Award — This award recognizes a youth service professional whose work surpasses normal expectations.

Recipients will be honored at the Youth Recognition Banquet on Thursday, March 28.

For more information or to receive nomination forms, please call the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960 or email [email protected]

The forms are also on the Youth Bureau page of the Genesee County website here.

January 9, 2019 - 11:54am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, teen city, Youth Bureau, Announcements.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau and the Genesee County YMCA invites all 6th through 12thgrade students in the City of Batavia to submit a logo design that will be used with the opening of Teen City.

The contest guidelines are as follows:

  • Contestants must be enrolled as a 6th– 12thgrader who resides within the City of Batavia or attends Batavia City School District, St. Joseph Catholic School, Notre Dame High School or GVEP.
  • Poster should be no larger than 9”x12” and must leave the bottom 2 inches blank.
  • Artists should include Teen City in the logo design.
  • Artwork should be submitted in portrait (vertical) orientation.
  • Each submission should be the original student’s work.
  • Each entry must include the artist’s full name, address, phone number, grade, age and school on the back of the poster.
  • Designs can be in any medium, including computer-generated. They should be clear and concise, easy to read.

Entries must be received in person or by mail by 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28. Submissions can be sent to the Batavia Youth Bureau, Attn: Teen City Logo Contest, 12 MacArthur Drive, Batavia, NY 14020.

The winning logo will be used for all signage of Teen City and on staff shirts. The winner will be recognized at the Teen City Kick-off Event in 2019.  For more information contact the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

December 10, 2018 - 9:12pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Youth Bureau, empire state development.


Stephen Quider, left, is the newest officer on the Batavia City police force. He was introduced to City Council tonight by Chief Shawn Heubusch, who said Quider has completed his 16 weeks of field training. The West Henrietta resident is in the process of relocating to the City.


Now that the rezoning of several parcels owned by City Church’s St. Anthony’s campus on Liberty Street is finally official, leaders of the Teen City project are rolling up their sleeves to expedite the transition of the Batavia Youth Bureau from its current MacArthur Drive location.

“We’re looking at the first quarter of the year (2019) to open Teen City, collaborating with the YMCA,” said Jocelyn Sikorski, Batavia Youth Bureau executive director, at tonight’s City Council meeting at City Hall. “We have put together an aggressive timeline.”

After a few months of discussion and planning board meetings, Council voted unanimously to change the zoning of five tracts on Liberty Street and one on Central Avenue from R-3 Residential to C-3 Central Commercial in order for City Church to offer business activities to the public and, as a result, pave the way for the youth bureau’s relocation.

Teen City is the name for the after-school program that will be operated by the Batavia Youth Bureau and YMCA, with assistance from City Church.

Sikorski, in a memo to City Council dated Dec. 5, wrote that a lease/operating agreement with City Church has been drafted and reviewed by City Attorney George Van Nest.

“This (anticipated approval of the lease by City Council) will enable us to move into the next steps regarding modifications to the facility, including renovations to the cafeteria as well as IT and security needs,” Sikorski wrote.

She added that bids for the work will go out over the next few weeks, and that a memorandum of understanding between the Batavia Youth Bureau and YMCA for shared staffing and oversight of the after-school program is being developed.

Sikorski’s committee has prioritized the necessary documents along with an intermunicipal agreement with the Batavia City School District for the current youth center site and transportation, along with a Teen City logo design contest. If all goes according to plan, a “kickoff event” will take place on Feb. 22.

Responding to a query from Council Member John Canale, Sikorski said the school district intends to take over the existing youth bureau building – occupying it and paying all expenses.

“This would not be a lease,” Sikorski said, adding that the Community Garden there would not be affected.

In a related move, Council voted to accept a $10,000 grant from the New York State Education Department to help fund the after-school program and another $1,000 from the County Youth Bureau for equipment, supplies and materials.

In other action, Council:

-- Passed a local law making Thorpe Street a one-way street for southbound traffic between Watson and Maple streets.

Thorpe becomes the seventh street in the City designated as one-way, joining Hewitt Place, Lewis Place, McKinley Avenue, North Spruce Street, School Street and Wiard Street.

-- Extended for a year -- three pacts with Genesee County relating to water supply, operation and maintenance of the water treatment plant and lease of the water treatment facility. This was done to allow the City and County to forge a long-term contract in tandem with a sales tax agreement.

In a memo dated Dec. 4, DPW Director Matt Worth noted two new changes to the water supply agreement:

  1. Leaving the index allowing for a maximum change in the cost of wholesale water purchased by the City to remain as the Consumer Price Index, which is consistent with the existing contract, and
  2. Making Genesee County a co-applicant or endorsing entity of any funding applications prepared by the City for services related to the removal of lead within the system.

Worth stressed that the City has no issues with lead, but included that provision to deal with any necessary improvements down the road.

-- Voted in a favor of a new three-year lease and sublease (through April 1, 2022) with the New York-Penn League for use of Dwyer Stadium for the league-owned Batavia Muckdogs.

The proposed lease is consistent with the most recent lease – “it has the same language as the current lease and sublease except for the term,” Van Nest said -- and calls for a $25,000 capital investment by the City into the facility annually.

-- Heard a brief report from City Manager Martin Moore regarding a pair of Downtown Revitalization Projects that are “moving along.”

Moore said he met with representatives of Empire State Development Corporation last week and was informed that funding for the Ellicott Place project is “on its way” and for the Healthy Living Campus project is due by the end of the week.

He also said that the Batavia Development Corporation’s “kickoff meeting” for mini-grants is set for next week.

Council then authorized Moore and Council President Eugene Jankowski to sign paperwork to receive an ESDC reimbursement grant in the amount of $25,000 to assist the Genesee Area YMCA in preparing a feasibility study for the Healthy Living Campus.

-- Appointed Bob Gray and Leslie Moma to the Community Garden Committee through Dec. 31, 2022, and Sharon Burkel to the Historic Preservation Commission through Dec. 31, 2021.

During a Conference Meeting following the Business Meeting, Council agreed to take up at its next meeting (Jan. 14) two resolutions dealing with a Community Development Block Grant for 900 linear feet of water main on Brooklyn Avenue in the amount of $333,000.

Worth said the project, along with drainage work at Williams Park and along the Tonawanda Creek bank, calls for an environmental impact review and a resolution stating who the certifying officer would be (in this case, Jankowski).

The project is slated to go to bid in March, Worth said.

November 19, 2018 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Youth Bureau, news.

Press release:

Each year, the Genesee & Orleans County youth bureaus administer Youth Development Program (YDP) funding made available to Genesee and Orleans counties by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. In each county, the Youth Board reviews all proposals and submits funding recommendations to the County Legislature for final approval.

Funding is available to support programs for youth 0-21 that provide services, opportunities and supports designed to improve our youth and community. Developed by the NY State Council on Children and Families, the Touchstones framework is organized in six Life Areas: Economic Security; Physical and Emotional Health; Education; Citizenship; Family; and Community.

The goals and objectives are related to each other and call for comprehensive strategies to address any single aspect of children and family well-being.

The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding through the RFP: not-for-profits, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and municipalities.

Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and Genesee County and Orleans County municipalities that will operate to meet goals identified in the Touchstone Life Areas.

Applications are now available and can be obtained by sending an email to: [email protected]

The due date for completed proposals is Wednesday, Dec.12. For additional information, please contact Jocelyn Sikorski, Youth Bureau director at 344-3960.

September 25, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Youth Bureau, news, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has secured $20,000 for the Genesee County Youth Bureau and $10,000 for the City of Batavia Youth Bureau.

“Our youth have unlimited potential to succeed, and this state investment will turn that potential into reality,” Ranzenhofer said. “As your State Senator, my commitment to the future of our children is unwavering. I’m proud to deliver on that commitment.”

The state funding will help support a safe afterschool environment and structured educational programs that provide youth with homework help, tutoring, skill building, and recreational activities.

“Our programs are making a difference by motivating young people to develop a sense of responsibility and contribute to their communities. This funding will be a major boost for our initiatives. I applaud Senator Ranzenhofer for being such a strong supporter of our youth in Genesee County,” said Executive Director for Genesee County & City of Batavia Youth Bureaus Jocelyn Sikorski. 

The funding is part of the 2018-19 State Budget. The funding is administered by the New York State Education Department.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break