The Longview Salvation Army will launch a slate of new youth programs next week in an effort to reach beyond Sunday religious services.
All area youth from first grade through 12th grade can participate as long as they are in school, said Chrissy Helkey, youth director.
Students who wish to participate but don’t have transportation can sign up to get rides to the Salvation Army from school by calling 360-423-3990.
The Troops program for students in grades one through 12 includes camping, music, games, crafts and trips into the community. Each weekly session will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday once every three months. The first session starts Jan. 20, and the next one will take place in May.
Helkey said the Troops program also includes transportation and a full meal each night.
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On Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. the Salvation Army next week will resume its Bookworms homework club for students of all ages. Snacks will be provided.
Also next week, Salvation Army will launch Oasis, a program for teens, Helkey said. The program will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays. Helkey said it will provide a safe space for students ages 13 to 18 to play games, have a free meal and receive clothes or toiletries if needed.
Helkey, who started as youth director in September, said the Longview Salvation Army is trying to refresh its programs and cater to more youth in the community outside of those who attend the church on Sundays.
“I’m excited to get started and learn more about teens here,” she said. Anyone with questions about the programs can call Helkey at 360-423-3990.