Perry Freedom Center to offer after school programming

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Jr Martinez gets ready to flip a pancake while Emma Kenyon, left, and Jetzibe Lopez look on during the Perry Freedom Center breakfast on Aug. 18. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

The Perry Freedom Center is gearing up to offer free fall programs.

The center, located at 1210 2nd St. in Perry, will start offering after school programs during the second week in September. The programs are for local youth from kindergarten through 12th grade.

“The youth center is a place where the kids can come that is safe for them and where they can learn about God, grow in their education and grow in leadership,” Site Director Diana Yepez said.

Freedom for Youth Ministries is based out of Des Moines. The Perry Freedom Center offers interdenominational programs for youth.

Yepez encourages parents from across the community to think about having their kids participate in the after school programs at the Freedom Center.

“All are welcome,” she said.

The elementary program is for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It includes a snack, tutoring, Bible lesson, games and a meal.

The teen program, for sixth through 12th grade students, offers a meal, Bible study, skills class and games.

In addition to those programs, the Perry Freedom Center also offers employment skills for middle and high school students. The students participated in the Perry Farmers Market during the summer, selling goods and learning soft job skills.

Some of the middle school students recently helped make and serve breakfast on Aug. 18. One student greeted guests at the door, while others helped make, serve and clear the breakfast dishes from guests.

Yepez said it is important for the students to learn soft job skills. Those skills, she added, will come in handy after the students graduate high school.

“You use customer service in whatever job you get,” she said.

The students interviewed for the positions and then received money through donations to simulate a real job setting.

The Perry center offers the breakfasts four times a year for the students to practice those job skills. And for the community to get a better idea for what the center does.

Yepez added that the center is always looking for volunteers to help with the after school programs.

For more information, or to sign up for the programs, contact Jessica Evans at 515-282-4822.