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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Youth taught life skills through summer program

Friday, June 6, 2008

Greencastle's Rotary Club gives the Summer Enrichment Program put on by Gobin United Methodist Church, a check to aid their swimming program this summer. Pictured are Ginger Scott, Megan Asbell both from Rotary, Rajai Bimbo, education director for the Summer Enrichment Program, and John Schlotterbeck, chair of the executive board.
At-risk children have a program to help teach them other means of conflict resolution, thanks to Kelsey Kauffman and Gobin United Methodist Church (UMC).

Rajai Bimbo, education director of the Summer Enrichment Program, spoke to Greencastle's Rotary Club Wednesday. He explained how this is the 20th year for this program.

"We currently have 65 children enrolled," Bimbo said. "We had over 100 applicants, though."

Due to the staff size of 21 college counselors and high school mentors, more children could not be accepted.

In this program, children are taught art, educated on Native American culture and oceanography, given swim lessons, social skills lessons including conflict resolution and given a strong emphasis on reading.

"We are trying to teach kids other means of working out their conflicts other than physically," Bimbo said.

Most of the children are taking advantage of the transportation service. A bus is used to take 44 of the participants to the program. They are also served food made by chef Bill Culler.

Returning children are given priority during the screening process. Bimbo said the majority of the children are on free or reduced lunch program or are part of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.

All staff work on a volunteer basis. Gobin UMC is donating its building as well. The only thing that costs money is transportation.

The program was started by Kauffman around 1988 and is held at Gobin UMC Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Donations are accepted via check. Make them payable to Gobin UMC and write "Summer Enrichment Program" on the memo line in the lower left-hand corner.

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