The Sky’s the Limit at HOPE Center

HOPE Center Students View Eclipse

HOPE Center students and teachers took time for an ‘in-progress’ science class this Monday, August 21st as the sun’s eclipse was almost at its height in Prowers County at high noon.  Wearing specially provided goggles, similar to those of the days of 1950’s 3-D movies, the kids viewed the shadow’s transit over the sun as the day briefly darkened and then returned to normal.

Ready for the Sod

This was the first HOPE Coalition meeting of the new school year at Lincoln School on North 10th Street.  Director Lori Hammer noted that for the first three days of operation, as many as 162 students attended on one day and as many as 100 came to the school on Friday.  “We’re seeing some student athletes starting to attend, “Hammer explained, adding that Jason Tice brought his entire football team on Friday to the Center.  “They have a new policy now where if a team member’s grades aren’t too good, they’re coming to the Center after their Friday practice to work on their grades.”  She said she thinks more students will just become interested about the Center’s activities to attend on their own. This year marks the 5th the Center has operated from Lincoln School and this is the 14th year of operation since activities began with the Teen Center which was located on East Elm Street in Lamar.

Summer field trips included a visit to John Martin Dam where the Army Corps of Engineers gives a guided tour inside the dam works and another day trip included a visit to the Discovery Space Station in Colorado Springs and a side trip to Garden of the Gods for a viewing and picnic. “Unfortunately, it rained which curtailed our scavenger hunt, so when the lightning began, we made for the bus.”  The students, about 40, also enjoyed lunch at the Black-Eyed Pea.

Two teachers have joined the Lincoln Alternative School, Colleen Tinnes and soccer coach, Miguel Ramon will be working with Anthony LaTour for the second year of the Alternative School.

The Paint the Plains run around Willow Creek Park will be held Saturday, September 9th.  Hammer said, “This is a fund-raiser for us and we will have some students walk in the morning parade out to the fairgrounds and then we’ll make preparations for them to take part in the afternoon run.”  This will be the third year the patriotic fun run will be held.  Participants are splattered with red, white and blue washable corn starch at selected stations during the run.

Some long-awaited sod will be planted at the Lincoln School playground next month. Anyone driving by can view the small playground pond which developed after DeWitt Excavation removed several feet of topsoil in preparation for the sprinkler system.  Hammer said the soil was being donated by Ron Peterson and DeWitt Excavation and the sod was also donated by a third party.  “We expect to have dirt work done next week and the sod will be in place after that, hopefully by September.”  She said there were tentative plans to hold an open house chili dinner on the playground, including an outdoor movie.

The HOPE Center is funded by grants and the staff is awaiting word on two of them. The Anschutz Family Foundation grant has been submitted and an announcement is expected shortly.  The Adolph Coors Foundation has scheduled a site visit on August 30th.

By Russ Baldwin


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