After-School Program Provides Safe Place for North Arlington Teens
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 15, 2012, November 15, 2012

Talk about "The Rec' is spreading around Lamar High School as more students make the North Davis Church of Christ their after-school destination. The church opens its doors to teenagers twice a week after school. It gives students a place to hang out after school, besides nearby neighborhoods or businesses. Officer Kimberly Fretwell, a north district Crime Prevention Officer, says the new partnership between the North Davis Church of Christ, Lamar High School, the Arlington Police Department and Arlington Public Library is designed to provide a place for these teenagers to occupy their time, reducing the opportunities for negative influences. The initiative is called the "The Rec' by students and officers alike.

Sgt. Christopher Cook and Officer Zhivonni McDonnell with the Arlington Police Department media office paid a visit on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 to see how the initiative was going.

"It' s basically a way that good kids can have a place to intermingle after-school in a safe environment,' said Sgt. Cook.

Darrell Lanford, is one of the church leaders who made "The Rec' possible. "It' s all about partnering with the community, educators, and the church which makes a positive impact for the Lamar High School students,' said Lanford, who is the youth and family minister for the North Davis Church of Christ .

During a recent visit to "The Rec,' church officials and officers welcomed around 30 kids, many of whom described the program as a great place to finish homework, grab a snack, enjoy a game and have fun playing basketball, volleyball, and other sports. The church opens their Family Center which houses a full court gym, classrooms, and a kitchen. The teenagers can grab a sports drink, have a sandwich or other snacks, while enjoying the company of friends.

The church also provides tutors from the University of Texas at Arlington to help students with their homework.

"Being involved is essential to a student' s success and by providing a peaceful and safe environment we are able to assist kids in making good choices,' said Chintan Amin, who serves as one of the tutors.

Jim Davis, a retired biology teacher from Lamar High School, serves as a mentor and teaches kids how to play chess. "It' s a good learning process to make good decisions in life. Today, kids have to make all kinds of decisions and this gives them a step up,' said Davis.

If you have a teenager who attends Lamar High School and might be interested, invite him or her to "The Rec.' The church opens "The Rec' from 3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the North Davis Church of Christ located at 1601 N. Davis Drive.

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