King Celebration All-Inclusive (Star-Telegram, Texas)
Afterschool youth in Mansfield have created a special performance in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The youth are performing with a choir of seniors at a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration next week at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Pastor Michael Evans hopes the celebration will encourage “all of us to look at ourselves and ask what have we done to make the community better.”
Middle School Students Helping Elementary Counterparts in Learning (Sanford Herald, North Carolina)
Middle school students in Sanford are taking elementary students under their wings and becoming the teachers at the Learning Together afterschool program. The middle school students pair off with elementary students and it’s improving their reading comprehension skills. According to the program’s organizers, the middle school students are enjoying being teachers and the younger students are “excited to have a friend who is older,” the Sanford Herald reports.
Donated Building Lets Leesburg’s Kids of Distinction Aid More Needy (Orlando Sentinel, Florida)
Leesburg Regional Medical Center is donating a 6,500 square foot modular building to the Kids of Distinction outreach ministry, which offers day care, afterschool programs and tutoring to students from struggling and low-income families. The building’s owners needed the land, but not the building, so they donated the “amazing blessing” to the Christian Worship Center and Kids of Distinction. Once the building is refurbished, the charity will be able to serve even more families in need.
US Crime Rate at Lowest Point in Decades. Why America is Safer Now. (Christian Science Monitor, Massachusetts)
Crime rates in the United States have dropped significantly since the early 1990s and researchers say that is in part because of changes in technology and policing and even afterschool programs. Christian Science Monitor staff writer Daniel Wood writes that, “Communities have also become smarter at addressing crime. Social programs and services for youths have successfully targeted those hours after school when most youth crime is committed.” Frederic Reamer, professor of social work at Rhode Island College in Providence, told the Monitor that, “There is evidence that ... gang intervention programs involving the police and community leaders, after-school programs, [and] community outreach programs are having a positive effect.”