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COVID-19 Updates

Essex CHIPS has returned to in-person programming as of May 30th.


Please continue to check this page for programming updates.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your doctor.

05/30/21: Return to In-Person Programming

After a long, tough winter, we will be returning to in-person programming.

We're excited to hold drop-in days this summer, including a field trip series to 'Cool Places in Vermont.' We will continue to hold virtual Chef's Club.

Vaccinated mentors are now able to meet with their mentees in person, following COVID-19 safety procedures such as outdoor meeting, masking, and social distancing.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Past Updates

11/16/20: Return to Virtual Programming

Essex CHIPS is returning to virtual programming as of November 16th.

We will hold in-person meetings of Tween Center on November 16th and Teen Center on November 17th. All programming thereafter will be held virtually. The Movie Day event planned for November 23rd will now be held virtually. More virtual events and programming are being developed and will be announced shortly. Please continue to check our website for details.


We are recommending that all mentoring pairs cease in-person meetings immediately until further notice. Pairs are encouraged to continue to meet virtually until we can resume in-person operations.

TeenLine and the Essex CHIPS Youth Food Shelf are still operating. The Food Shelf is open for no-contact pick-ups and drop-off by appointment only. It can be accessed by contacting TeenLine or filling out the Request Form on our website. TeenLine operators are available Monday through Friday from 1pm to 5pm. Call us at (855) 273-8336 or email us at

10/19/20: Guidelines from CHIPS Teen Center Coordinator

Check-In Procedure:

  • Upon arrival, youth must be wearing a face mask.

  • Before entering the Teen Center at the top of the stairs youth will be temperature checked.

  • If youth are running a fever, or have a cough or other symptoms, parents will be notified immediately. While youth are waiting for guardians they will be in a room away from other youth.

  • To streamline the check-in process and contact tracing, we are requesting youth go directly from school to the Teen Center. Parents/guardians are encouraged to call ahead if a youth will be arriving late.


  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to call youth or the Teen Center for them to meet their rides outside. If this is a concern or not possible, staff can escort youth outside or parents may come inside with a mask on.

Face Masks:

  • All youth, staff, and parents/guardians must wear a properly fitting face mask while in the Teen Center.

  • Bandanas, buffs, scarfs, face shields, or other improvised masks do not meet the required standards for entry to the Teen Center.

  • If a youth's mask does not fit properly (sliding off the nose, ear, etc), then one will be provided as long as materials are available.

Physical Distancing:

  • To promote physical distancing, the Teen Center currently has a maximum capacity of 15 youth with 3 staff/volunteers (subject to change).

  • Every room in the Teen Center has a reduced capacity and is labeled with signs.

  • Furniture is spaced to allow physical distancing.

Food and Drinks:

  • The Teen Center's Healthy Snack program has been adjusted so that food is not being prepared in the space. All snacks provided will be whole fruit or pre-prepared items.

  • Youth are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. When drinking in the Teen Center, they will step away at least 6 feet from others to take their mask off temporarily.

  • Small snacks are allowed to be brought from home. Youth may eat their snack in the big room at the round tables only. Before and after eating, youth will be reminded to wash or sanitize their hands.

  • We are still a peanut and treenut-free facility.


  • CHIPS staff will be taking extra time before and after Teen Center to sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

  • Youth and staff will be washing or sanitizing hands before and after each activity.

  • Items that can be easily sanitized will be after each use.

6/1/20: Message from CHIPS AmeriCorps Youth Services Coordinator

Essex and Westford Community;

We're currently working on expanding our programming schedule to include more opportunities for Teen and Tween Center youth to engage with their peers. We are growing our current high school programming to support younger students who also want to discuss topics surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, substance use prevention, and community service, all while maintaining the fun, age-appropriate, be-yourself atmosphere of Teen and Tween Center. Please continue to check our website or subscribe to our newsletter for further updates.

Thank you,

Sarah Brunkhorst
VYDC AmeriCorps Youth Services Coordinator

3/25/20: Message from CHIPS AmeriCorps Youth Services Coordinator

3/15/20: Letter from CHIPS Director of Programming

Essex Community;

Based upon the Governor’s announcement that schools will be closed until 4/6, CHIPS is suspending all face to face services to youth, starting tomorrow 3/16 until 4/6. This includes the Teen and Tween Center, FriendCHIPS, ATI, and Outlet.

We appreciate all our volunteers and our youth do in this community and are available to look at technology options to remain connected to you.

Thank you,

Justin Hoy
Director of Programing

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