Cape Girardeau Family Center helping more kids - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau Family Center helping more kids

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A center that used to only be able to serve 25 kids, now serves almost 70.

The Cape Area Family Resource Center was in line to close due to a lack of financing. It merged with the Boys and Girls club with help from the United Way, keeping the program going, just moving it to another building.

"They don't have to be latch key kids, they still have a place to come," said Director of Programming Patricia King.

The place to come used to be the Cape Area Family Resource Center in South Cape Girardeau, but now it's the Shawnee Park Center. "I'm just glad that they didn't get rid of the program," said Parent Tameka Ballentine.

"They like coming here everyday, when I get home I hear many stories about it," said Parent Shateka Gibson.

Now grade school kids can ride the bus after school to the center, and home at night.

"During the hours, after school from like 3 to 7 p.m., is the normal time frame for kids to possibly get in trouble," said Boys and Girls Club spokeswoman Teresa Teague.

"We felt that sometimes the parents there, do not have the resources or the money to put these kids in high quality after school programs when they're at work," said United Way spokeswoman Jo Peukert.

"The kids can have something to do to keep them out of trouble," said Gibson.

Out of trouble, but still in the neighborhood.

"It was very important to have them in their own community," said Peukert.

"Our kids don't have anything else," said King. "They don't have access to those other programs, if you don't have a car, you can't get to them."

"I was nervous because I thought of the childcare expenses, and things like that, but it's actually a lot better to be able to go here and get help with homework," said Ballentine.

"They must do homework, that is our main focus, education," said King.

Which Gibson says is helpful as a parent.

"All I have to do when they come home is check over and make sure it's done right," said Gibson.

King says they used to serve between 20 and 25 kids at the resource center. With the new location, she says they have almost 70, and there're still kids on the waiting list.

They also are now able to stay open on Fridays, allowing kids to come five days a week, opposed to the previous four.

"He really likes it, he loves Miss Pat, so when he thought the other resource center was closing down he was kind of disappointed but now that he's back with he, he's fine with that," said Ballentine.

"It enriches these kids beyond what they would have if they just went home and perhaps sat in front of a TV," said Peukert.

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