School will be over in several weeks in Lamar and students involved with the Lamar HOPE Center on East Elm Street demonstrated some of the fun and serious subjects they’ve been involved with over the past several months.
HOPE, formerly P3 in Lamar, is an acronym for Health, Opportunity, Prevention and Education. Under the direction of Lori Hammer and Anita Zavala and assorted volunteers, students between elementary and high school age attend after school classes and engage in a variety of subjects. Near the end of each school year, parents are invited to view student demonstrations of what they’ve learned through the previous period. Tuesday, May 1, subject matter ranged from some fancy soccer steps, the art of the Yo-Yo, tee-shirt decorations, cooking projects and music.
The HOPE Center is funded through renewed JAG grants for which Hammer needs to periodically re-apply. The financing is now conducted through the Lamar School District this year, as in previous years, the county had been the funding pass-through. Hammer said she is anticipating some changes in the operation of the center, in light of the district moving to a four day school week in August, and will hold discussions with officials on potential impacts. She said that with from 75 to 85 students attending the Center each school afternoon, the students and staff are beginning to outgrow their facility, the former Eagles Lodge. The Center conducts a smaller scale operation through the summer months, but has some special, limited activities planned for the students.
By Russ Baldwin