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Quinn Chapel AME to host college fair

It will be one part "old fashioned block party" and one part gentle nudge toward higher education.

Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church will have a college fair from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 11. The fair is the congregation's way of inspiring young people to think about their future.

"We are reaching out to the community trying to get them (young people) interested in going to school," Jacalyn McAfee said. "We want to reach out to the community and show than we do care about how they do in school and want them to get the education that they deserve and realize that yes, they can follow their dreams."

McAfee said the new idea for a college fair came from the church's new pastor, the Rev. Melonie Valentine, who was assigned to lead the church in November 2004.

So far 10 colleges have agreed to take part in the fair: Ohio University, Ashland Community and Technical College, Shawnee State University, Ohio State University, Huntington Junior College, Marshall University, Collins Career Center, Payne Theological Seminary and Wilberforce University.

McAfee said the church will also begin a tutoring program at the church Aug. 24 - another means of getting young minds thinking about and preparing for their education. The students can get help with homework and even compiling research papers.

"We will have a computer to help them learn how to write research papers. And we will show them how to get on the internet and look up information that they need," McAfee said.

The fair will feature a concert by the entertainer Gyfted along with a barbeque.

The church is located at 723 Adams St. in Ironton. Parts of Seventh and Eighth streets will be blocked off to allow for more room and add to the "block party" atmosphere.

People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs with them for the Gyfted concert.