The Center of Hope has started a new program in Peaster to feed and tutor students.
The Flood Study Club program is a collaboration between the Center of Hope, Peaster High School and Greenwood Baptist Church. The group had their first meeting on Monday and will continue to have meetings from 4-6 p.m. on Mondays at Peaster High School for kids in grades 6-12.
The Flood Study Club aims to offer a safe place for students to enjoy a meal and engage in a Bible study and tutoring, Center of Hope Family and Church Relations Coordinator Linda Leal said. PHS’s student groups the National Honor Society chapter and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes are expected to help with tutoring needs.
The club is also planning to give school supplies and groceries, discreetly, to students who need them, Leal said.
“The goal really is to meet the needs of children, a lot of them who are lock-key children,” Leal said. “We want to be able to meet their needs not only physically but emotionally, also spiritually. That is our main goal is to be able to take care of those lock-key children who sometimes come home and their parents are working, they go home to an empty house, and this way we can be there for them. It’s really more about mentorship. It’s always the same people who are going to be there to greet them and to build relationships with them, and to just have fun with them because we do crafts and we give them snacks, and then again we’re going to be doing the same thing is we’re going to be giving groceries for them to take home.”
The Center of Hope is involved in other after-school programs, which are based in Weatherford, Leal said.
“The ones that I have that were current were mostly geared toward elementary, so really I had already been looking for someone to undertake one that would include the high school age,” Leal said.
Peaster High School senior Emily Hand helped start up the Flood Study Club. Hand previously volunteered with a similar program for kids during the summer and wanted to start something to help feed students during the school year.
“I formed the idea of Flood based off the [Bible] verse Isaiah 43:2, which states, ‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you,’ and so that’s why I was kind of like, we can flood them with blessings,” Hand said.
Hand wanted to help meet the physical needs of her fellow students, some of whom don’t eat lunch, as well as spiritual needs through the Bible study, she said.
“This is kind of just showing them that there is some good, and He’s all behind it basically,” Hand said.
Hand approached Leal with her idea in about late July and worked with Leal on formulating the proposal and schedule. Hand then set it up by asking restaurants to sponsor meals for the program. She met with Peaster Mayor Don Smelley to talk about the program to get the community involved before presenting it to the city commission last week. Local pastors responded positively to the idea and offered assistance.