The Knoxville location of Freedom for Youth Ministries hosted a Back to Program Bash on September 4 outside the Freedom Center.
The event served as a way to get kids registered for the organization’s programs taking place this school year. The bash was also an opportunity for Freedom for Youth to get their name out in the community and share information about the programs they offer.
This was the first year that Freedom for Youth hosted this event, but Community Development Coordinator Angie Gentry says they are hoping to make it an annual occurrence. Gentry said that each Freedom for Youth location across the state is holding a Back to Program Bash this year.
Freedom for Youth Knoxville is offering several programs to kids of all ages this year. The programs revolve around faith education, employability and leadership skills. All programs offered are free to students and are open to anyone in grades K-12.
Students in grades K-5 are able to attend programs on either Monday or Wednesday evenings. The Monday program begins after school and runs until 5:30, providing both a snack and a meal to those enrolled. The Wednesday program is less formal, ending at 5 p.m. and providing kids with a snack.
Students in grades 6-12 are able to attend a discovery program on Monday night from 5-7 p.m. This program includes both a meal and a snack. There are also skills classes offered throughout the year, which are shorter programs focused on a specific topic. These programs typically run between 4-6 weeks.
The Back to Program Bash featured inflatables, games, crafts and free food for anyone who attended. The inflatables and grill used to make the food were provided by the organization’s Freedom Quest program, which is an outreach program that visits communities without a freedom center.
The Freedom Quest program has the goal for each county in the state of Iowa to have a Freedom Center or similar type of program. The Knoxville location of Freedom for Youth opened in June 2016.