Due to waiting lists and high demand, many at-risk communities do not have access to after-school programs. Mount Olive Christian Fellowship Church is changing that problem.
“We wanted to go in an area where we can make a difference,” said Debra Beyah, pastor at Mount Olive Christian Fellowship.
Organizers are opening a free after-school program every Monday through Thursday at Martin Homes in Dothan. It's possible because of state funding and doors are open to five through 18-year-olds.
“Sometimes the parents don't have anywhere for them to go, so it'll help them,” said Beyah.
The program offers mentoring, tutoring, snacks, and dinner.
“We offer anything from spaghetti, or soups and salads, to meatloaf and Salisbury steaks and potatoes,” said Ivory Dale, a volunteer.
However, it is not just the free stuff that’s beneficial. Volunteers said these types of programs give children an advantage in the future.
“I'm hoping that they learn they have a safe place to come to just enjoy their peers, to learn to blossom as individuals. We want to invest in them as best as we can,” said Dale.
Beyah added, “Our ultimate goal is that we make a difference in these children's lives. That we make a quick impact.”
The program goes from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and it will last through May. Parents are encouraged to come and meet volunteers. The center is still accepting children. To learn more, contact Mount Olive Christian Fellowship at 334-718-6204.