HOPE Center Season Winding Down for School Year


The school season is drawing to a close at the Lincoln School HOPE Center on North Tenth Street in Lamar. Anita Zavala and Lori Hammer told Coalition members on Monday, April 16th, past graduates spoke to current students at Young HOPE Prevention about the importance of staying in school to attain their diploma.  One student, who is now a Marine, and had attended the former Teen Center years ago when it was located on East Elm Street, laid his success to the urging of his instructors and advisors to ‘hang in’ and complete his high school education.  The two graduates stressed the economic benefits that can be achieved with a diploma rather than trying to find employment as a high school drop-out.  The marine also pointed of how he’s using his military duty to help fund enrollment in college classes.

Thursday, April 12th, Anthony LaTour, director of the Alternative School, took several of his students to Parkview Elementary to read to and play some games with, 3rd grade students for the second year.

Weather permitting, the long awaited sod playground Lincoln school will become a reality by Friday. Hammer said so much of the work and materials had been donated, from the new dirt to the sprinkling system, plus the sod which will be rolled out to create the playground lawn.  It may be sometime before the students are allowed on the grass, but she said this was a specific example to the students of how their words and ideas can be put into action.

One or two students at the HOPE Center, as far back as four or five years, had expressed an interest in having a sod covered playground as well as skateboard park. Now, through their suggestions to adults who had been working with them on their projects, it is a reality.  Hammer said a celebration for their accomplishment will be held towards the end of school, next month.

County Commissioner, Wendy Buxton-Andrade, recapped how a representative from the Daniels Foundation expressed interest over the concept of a virtual shopping mall, discussed by Buxton-Andrade as a potential economic driver for local businesses several months ago. The representative agreed that the project would be a valuable means of teaching students how computers and the internet can be used to develop an online business.  She said the possibilities for further development will be discussed.

Coalition members also discussed the need for additional licensed day care services in Lamar. The topic was discussed at the HOPE Center as one of the topics for adult-parent discussions on services that are lacking in the immediate area.  Aside from a lack of sufficient outlets, the ones currently are in operation only until 5pm, which leaves a need for those parents who work on schedules other than nine to five.  Weekends are also a priority when centers are also closed.  Buxton-Andrade told the group that some federal assistance has developed with the passing of the declaration of the poverty level at 185% instead of the prior 165% where only 12% of students had been eligible for CCAP funding for licensed day care providers.  She added only the Welcome Home Day Care Center is licensed for infant care at this time and their classrooms are all mostly filled.

An end of year barbecue event is being planned at the Center, possibly the fourth week in May to coincide with the last day of the school year and an announcement on a specific date will be made.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEducationFeaturedRecreationSchoolYouth


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