Series of events planned for Summer of Hope

Published 4:40 pm Saturday, June 10, 2017

By Justin Smith
The Selma Times-Journal

The Summer of Hope program is looking to bring the Selma and Dallas County community together through a series of events that are designed to prevent drugs from being on the street.

The program is kicking off its first campaign this summer. A grant of $625,000 from the Executive Office of the United States put the ball in the motion and made everything possible. Their summer campaign will consist of weekly kickball games, children’s dance and business entrepreneur classes and monthly luncheons that will serve as a board meeting for anyone that wants their voice heard.

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“We want everyone to come out and connect with some of the young people,” said Jerria Martin, director of Drug Free Communities in Dallas County.
“Many upstanding community members will be on deck to assist with the events.”

The first step the program took was researching the root of all drug use. The research findings showed poverty was one of the most common causes of why an individual would choose to get involved with drugs.

Then they came up with the bright idea of offering an entrepreneurial business course to children in the community that are living in similar circumstances to fight back against high poverty rates in Dallas County.

The business course will give kids the opportunity to write their own business plans and push those plans through several media outlets. The course will be taught every Thursday.

The program will also offer a community kickball game every Tuesday. All members of the community are encouraged to come out and get involved in a friendly game of kickball. The activity will consist of 45 minutes of kick ball and afterwards kids will have the opportunity to interact with several community members and enjoy a snack.

Wednesday is going to be reserved for kid’s dance classes.

The Summer of Hope program will run from June 12 to July 27.

This month’s luncheon will be at Hope Academy on June 15 at noon. Dominoes will provide food for everyone. A plethora of games will also be available for kids.

One of the main functions of the luncheon is for anyone in the community that wants their voice to be heard to come out and talk.

“The luncheons are designed for people to come out and suggest things that they believe will be a good use of the money that we have received through the grant,” Martin said.