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Fun space for youth
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Children practice English with a native speaker at a newly-opened space for youth, in Wuhan on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.

At a new playground in Wuhan, children can have fun with their friends, while learning paper-cutting from an artist and polishing their English with a native speaker.

The place is one of the first two "spaces for youth" that opened in the central Chinese city on Tuesday, China News Service reports.

Located inside two residential communities, the spaces provide a fun after-school base for children.

Each space is painted vividly to echo its theme. Children have access to a rich collection of books, and a selection of games designed to inspire creativity. Well-trained staff workers stand by to help. Psychology consultants visit regularly.

Wuhan is hoping to build an additional six such spaces throughout the city's communities, to serve 50 to 100 thousand teenagers and children.

The non-profit "space for youth" project is jointly spearheaded by the Beijing-based China National Youth Palace Association (CNYPA) and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Other pilot spaces are being built in Zhejiang Province.

A senior official with the CNYPA said the spaces are expected to create a social forum for youngsters outside traditional schools and their families. The spaces will help parents identify children's potential abilities, and serve as a stress outlet for children as well.

Children learn paper-cutting at a newly-opened space for youth, in Wuhan on Tuesday, October 30, 2007.

(CRI October 31, 2007)

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