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Program will focus on learning

Operation Be Proud, a local organization designed to encourage students to be the best they can be, has announced plans for an after-school enrichment program at the River Hills Community Center, OBP president Robert Pleasant Jr.

Thursday, September 02, 1999

Operation Be Proud, a local organization designed to encourage students to be the best they can be, has announced plans for an after-school enrichment program at the River Hills Community Center, OBP president Robert Pleasant Jr. said.

"Our main goal is to build self-esteem in the youth of the community," Pleasant said. "We want to build an after-school program with a strong educational emphasis."

Pleasant said the goals of the enrichment program include developing personal and social skills, promoting healthy lifestyle choices and fostering the self-worth of each young person.

"We are going to have some fun, too," he said. "We are going to have recreational and physical activities as well as games."

Another new program involved in the enrichment program is "Parents as Partners." Pleasant said it is a program created to allow parents to participate in their child’s development and education.

"We want to get parents involved with the program," he said. "Young people who see their parents and the community involved in activities, conducted with our after-school program, will believe that the activities and programs are worth the time and effort."

The after-school program will be free to all members of the community and volunteers are needed.

"OBP needs volunteer tutors, individuals to monitor student activities, guest speakers, snack preparers and mentors," Pleasant said. "If anyone can give a few hours weekly or monthly, please give the center a call at 534-9980."

OBP has just started taking calls for registration and already has close to 20 applicants. A sign Pleasant hopes is a good one.

"We’re excited and our volunteers are excited," he said. "We are almost at 20 kids and we know we’ll get more."

One thing Pleasant wants to get across is that this is not a baby-sitting service.

"We want to follow up and not just be a tutoring service," he said. "We want to see if we make a difference. We want to hear from the school and see how we can improve and keep moving forward."

Participants from the ages of 7-18 are welcome and the hours are 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Participating organizations include Ohio University Southern Campus, Ironton-Lawrence County CAO-JTPA Program, Adult Basic Literacy Education Program and OBP Peer Counselors.