Friendship House opens doors for summer of youth activities

Published 10:05 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

It is not too late to register youth for the wide range of free summer programs available through the Friendship House of Jesus.
Age appropriate recreational activities and life skills training are offered for those ages 5 through 17.
Approximately 200 children participate each summer. Paske said in the third day this week they already had 183 enrolled. He expects once word gets out they will go over 200 a day. Parents or guardians must come to the Friendship House office to register their children to participate.
The eight-week program, which began June 2, will continue until July 24, Mondays through Thursdays, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.
A free lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. provided through the services of the Decatur County Schools School Nutrition program. Transportation is also provided for those who need it.
All activities are located at 220 N. Russ Street and include organized recreation, art, crafts and dance, music and skits, water days, beach field trips, special guest speakers as well as Bible study.
“The mission of the Friendship House of Jesus is to provide our local youth with a free, safe and fun environment while implementing biblical principles and laying the foundation for a productive future for Bainbridge young people,” said Joshua Paske, administrative director of Friendship House.
This is the 24th year of Friendship House, and the 20th year for their summer programs.
One of the summer highlights is the beach field trip. Each year 135 children are chosen by staff, based on behavior and attitude, to spend two days each experiencing the trip of a lifetime at the beach. Nine trips are made, taking 15 children per trip. This is made possible by the generosity of sponsors who donate the use of their beach homes.
Paske said they are still looking for sponsors to help fund other beach trip expenses, such as transportation and food.
Area church youth groups are volunteering to do art classes and Tammi Wester of Lucretia’s School of Dance teaches dance classes three days a week. Others wishing to volunteer, and especially those willing to make a financial contributions or sponsorship are encouraged to contact Paske at 229-243-1298.