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Students learn life skills in after-school program

By JOE ASHER

joe.asher@middlesboronews.com

Students from the 21st Century Community Learning Center at Middlesboro Middle School hosted a “Lights On After School” event at the Middlesboro Nursing and Rehabilitation facility on Thursday, presenting cards for the residents.

Kevin Wright, 21st Century site coordinator at Middlesboro Middle School, explained both the event and the program.

Wright said the 21st Century Community Learning Center is funded for five years by a grant and provides participants the opportunity to learn things such as cooking, sewing, and other necessary skills after the regular school day is over.

“We’ll have the chamber of commerce come in and show the kids how to do plumbing and electrical work,” Wright said. “The fire department is going to sponsor a first aid and CPR class, so we can get them certified. We do a little bit of everything.”

Wright also shed some light on the nursing home event, saying it was a success.

“A lot of schools will do things such as Trunk or Treat. Some schools will do kickball tournaments,” Wright explained. “What we did was, since we’ve got COVID-19 going on, we hosted an event for the nursing home. My kids here at Middlesboro Middle School wrote letters and cards to the residents of the nursing home.”

The cards and letters were presented to a representative outside the facility during the Thursday night event.

Wright advised the Middlesboro City Council of the event during a recent council meeting, during which Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson signed a proclamation officially recognizing the event.

Nelson called Wright up to speak to the council.

“My kids and I sat down and talked about it,” Wright said. “They said they feel like those at nursing home don’t get thought of a lot, so we want to reach out to them.”

Nelson asked for a motion from the council to sign the proclamation.

The proclamation states in part:

  • Provide safe, challenging, and engaging learning experiences that help children develop social, emotional, physical, and academic skills.
  • Support working families by ensuring their children are safe and productive after the regular school day ends.
  • Build stronger communities by involving students, parents, business leaders, and adult volunteers in the lives of young people, thereby promoting positive relationships among youth, families, and adults.
  • Engage families, schools, and community partners in advancing the welfare of our children.

A motion to accept the proclamation was made and approved by the council with no opposition.

Any student at Middlesboro Middle School who wants to participate in the Center should contact Wright at Middlesboro Middle School to inquire about registration.