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DFC offers Summer of Hope

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

The Drug Free Communities of Dallas County will continue their Summer of Hope programs through next Wednesday.

DFC director Jerria Martin said this summer has been a success in recruiting students to be junior “Hope Dealers” this upcoming school year.

“We have just had a wonderful summer,” she said. “The main reason for the program was just to recruit kids for our junior Hope Dealers group, which will start back up when school starts back. We are already in every high school and middle school within Selma and Dallas County.”

The DFC has will continue their programs for the next week. Some of the programs which run through next week include:

*All Hoops, No Oops Basketball Program, which runs from 11:30-12:30 p.m. each Tuesday for ages 8 and up

*Hope Dance and Mime Program, which runs from 1-2 p.m. for ages 13-18 and 2-3 p.m. for ages 7-12 each Wednesday

*Preventing Poverty Business Program, which runs from 2-3 p.m. each Wednesday for ages 12-18

*Kick Out The Drugs Kickball Program, which runs from 11:30-12:30 p.m. each Thursday for ages 8 and up.

“Through our camps, we managed to dos some amazing things,” Martin said.

During the basketball, dance and kickball camps children spend half of the time learning about each sport. The other half of the time they will receive drug-free training.

“We trained them on how to identify drugs, what they should not be using and the significance of not using drugs or substances when you’re an athlete,” Martin said. “A lot of these young men want to be basketball players or football players, and a lot of the girls love to dance; they know that drugs can have a negative effect on your body.”

During the business program, children will learn to use skills they already possess to start their own business, such as lawn mowing or hair styling.

Martin has enjoyed directing the summer program, and she is excited to show what they have accomplished at their final community luncheon.

“It means the world to me. It makes me get up every morning; I’m always usually the first one here at Hope Academy and the last one to leave,” Martin said. “I just can’t wait to get to the office, see their smiling faces and meet the new kids who just walk in. It means a lot to me that I can instill something into them to just let them know that drugs are not the way.”

The entire community is invited to come to the final luncheon at Hope Academy on Wednesday, July 26 at 12 p.m. Food will be provided.