Event partner Carolyn Johnson says the event not only will offer the youth of Bartow County an opportunity to enjoy summer fun such as a “Ride the Wave” inflatable water slide and free breakfast, lunch and snacks, but it also will offer youth and parents educational classes with the goal of helping to improve current and future lives.
“We will start registration about 9:15 [a.m.] and after registration we will start our classes. We have classes broken up for grades one through three, four through six, seven through nine and ten through college age,” Johnson said. “We’ll also have classes for parents and we have a 19-plus [class] for job seekers.”
Examples of some of the classes to be offered include: grades one to three — arts and crafts and “Don’t Get Burned,” which will feature the Bartow County Fire Department’s burn house; grades four through six — cooking and “Where are you Headed?,” which will teach lessons on peer pressure; seven through nine — abstinence and life skills; and ten through college age — money management and “College 101,” which will go over aspects such as financial aid.
Experts from their field will facilitate each of the classes. For example, the class for those age 19 and up regarding the job market will feature a representative from the Georgia Department of Labor.
“For the parents we’re going to offer something called ‘Set up to be Sent Off’ where some representatives from the [Georgia] Department of Juvenile Justice are going to talk with the parents about the justice system dealing with youth and [the] ‘Can I afford College?’ [class], we will have someone to help the parents know what’s out there like money and scholarships that parents don’t know how to access,” Johnson said.
During the lunch break, representatives from the Bartow County Teen Center will speak on the “Rethink the Drink” campaign. Johnson said the event is organized through the efforts of various local churches and began through the work of the Rev. Randy Livsey of New Shiloh Baptist Church of Kingston.
“When I started pastoring in Kingston, I noticed there was a disconnect from the time when we came up and the era we are in now. As kids, we all played together in the summertime ... and then I started looking at the violence that was happening in the community with young people, with the fighting, the gangs,” Livsey previously told The Daily Tribune News.
Johnson said the ministry also will offer a Charles Fluellen Sr. scholarship for college students, under the pretense of writing an essay and attending a previous Youth Explosion event as well as this month’s event. She said Fluellen, who passed away in 2012, had been instrumental in previous events. The essay will be judged by non-members.
The following day another event will be held to round out Youth Explosion.
“We will have a culminating event Sunday, July 21 at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church ... and we will feed the youth with refreshments at 2 [p.m.] and the service will begin at 3 [p.m.],” Johnson said.
For more information, contact Livsey at 770-548-8887. Parents are asked to stay at the event and to bring a towel for their children for the water-based activities.