JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - City Youth Ministries is about to begin the summer with new curriculum thanks to some grants they recently received.
The nonprofit got a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grant through the Craighead County Cooperative Extension that will allow students to participate in different food activities for an hour each day.
"The kids will actually be making a nutritious snack," City Youth Ministries Executive Director Denise Snider said. "It will be fun and be engaging as well as some kind of movement and physical activity for the kids as well."
Snider is thankful they can offer these different experiences to children.
"You never know what interests or innate talent that a child has that might be sparked, whether it's chef school or food services and even going way deeper, it'll look great on a job resume that you have had some experience with food prep," Snider said.
The class will also teach proper hygiene when handling foods.
Snider said they also hope to take the students on field trips that involve fresh foods like a local honey farm or the farmer's market.
City Youth will also begin their first ever music classes this summer.
The instruments will be bought with grant money from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.
"It helps with communication skills, language development, sense of community," Snider said.
The nonprofit also got a summer literacy grant that will help buy age-appropriate books for the kids.
Then a certified teacher will help the students with reading each day.
"Studies show that if children don't keep reading through the summer months they will regress at least 3 levels of their reading from where they left off at the end of the school year," Snider said. "So we're going to try to help the public schools and keep them reading and just engaged."
She said they are also looking for volunteers to come read to the kids and listen to them read throughout the summer.
Snider also said they have established a waiting list for participants for the summer, but they are already taking applications for the fall registration.
If you are interested in volunteering, call City Youth Ministries at 870-932-9398.
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