- Faith & Family
Most children can really appreciate the words: winter break. It is during these breaks they get about two weeks of vacation. Which means they can stay home and watch TV, play video games, surf the web or simply do nothing.
But at New Mt. Moriah, the youth who were a part of the winter break camp had countless activities lined up; which made their breaks more exciting and event-filled. At the camp, they met new friends, played games, sports, worked on homework and many of the girls developed their skills in baton twirling. And although it ended at 5 p.m., some girls who were a part of the twirling group stayed later.
The girls of the Jewels Twirling Academy at New Mt. Moriah have competed throughout the country and won national awards including gold, silver and bronze metals from the Junior Olympics. The camp was sponsored by Coaches Across America through Hope For Miami.
Although the youth enjoyed the camp, parents also found it beneficial since most of them had to work while their children were out on break.
The winter break camp was designed specifically for working moms who don’t have the same time off that their children have off, according to Rev. Tanya Jackson, executive pastor at New Mt. Moriah.
“There were moms who would have their kids alone at home because they had to work during the break,” Jackson said. “So we decided to help out in that way. We’re always here anyway and it wouldn’t have been anything for us to open and go ahead and occupy their time.”
The youth respond to camp
Tiana, 10, and Talicia Kirkland, 7, said that their favorite part of camp is the baton twirling. They got into the activity last year and they wanted to be a part of the camp the following year, as well.
Dontay Warren, 12, enjoyed playing basketball, football and racing. He said it was better than sitting around his house doing nothing.
In addition to the winter break camp, New Mt. Moriah had numerous other activities for the youth, also. These activities included: True Love Waits Purity series — where youth are taught about abstinence or celibacy and parents are taught communication skills for that “taboo subject” and their Teen Outreach program — where teens are taught about financial literacy, proper peer choices and sexual orientation, according to Jackson.
New Mt. Moriah is located near The Liberty Square housing projects and some of the children who are involved at the church live there, according to Jackson.
“The children from the projects got to see that there is a center for resources that exists in their community,” Jackson said. “We’re in a very dangerous area of the community so the church acts as a safe haven and it’s always open.”
By Malika A. Wright