The program will convene from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday during the period at Truth & Life Community Church, 450 S. Front St. Breakfast and lunch will be served. To sign someone up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-899-6181.
She also is hoping more people will volunteer to help with the program, and thanked local businesses and residents for their support of the program.
“Over 90 percent of our kids who have come through the program, they’re either working in McDonald’s and Kroger, or different retail stores,” she said. “The kids who graduated high school, they’re off to college.”
She believes the program gave some students “the extra push” to pursue college. Even after the summer program ends, “I continue to keep up with them during the school year. We make sure everybody’s grades are good, make sure people are progressing and doing well.”
Meanwhile, the second program, called Books & Barbershop, encourages students during the summer to read so they don’t experience the “summer slide” that students have when they get away from reading between school years.
The program, featuring free snacks and books they can take home, is assisted by the Lane Libraries’ book mobile, 17Strong micro-grants, Butler County United Way and H.Y.P.E. (Hamilton Young People Empowered), with children making arts and crafts such as glow-in-the-dark slime.
Phillips Barbershop will offer a free haircut to each participant.
The next Books & Barbershop event will be June 21 from 3 to p.m. at the barbershop, 714 Central Ave. Registration is not necessary.
“You don’t want the kids to lose skills in the summer,” Mathews said. “Statistics have shown that kids who read at least 30 minutes a day, when they come back to school, they’re still able to stay on task with testing and learning, and be ready to go.”