Children attending the camp are learning the fundamentals of ballet, some for the very first time. Many are hearing about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. They are also learning how to make crafts, while listening to a story or two, and taking part in devotions.
It is all part of a new enrichment program called "Center Refuge", an extension of Mission Meridian. It is funded by The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi tobacco grant.
"We have had a great time this week and they love it," said Mission Meridian director Charlotte Scott.
Organizers say the goal behind the center is to bring youth together, while developing spiritual leaders and providing a number of enrichment programs. From 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. children are not just learning but having fun in the process.
"I learned to listen to my parents," said one participant.
"We were doing ballet and talking about things," said another.
"It's always been a dream of mine to help kids," said camp dance instructor Heather Goodwin. "And it's through other people that helped me that I have the opportunities that I have."
In the future, officials say they hope to hold a summer camp and an after-school haven for kids to do homework, learn and just have a place to go.
Anyone interested in being a part of next week's camp may call Mission Meridian at 601-693-1332. Space is limited to 25 children for each session.
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