Community responds to Montgomery mayor's youth initiative

Community responds to Montgomery mayor's youth initiative
Almost a year ago, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced his youth initiative to help get kids out of trouble, and keep them out of trouble. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Almost a year ago, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced his youth initiative to help get kids out of trouble, and keep them out of trouble.. Now, the community is responding.

"Government cannot do everything. We can do some things," said Mayor Strange, admitting that the approach of the past has been all wrong. "So many people, me included, have come at it from crime to education to society. We really ought to be turning it backwards and doing society to education to crime."

The mayor's approach focuses on three big issues: conflict resolution, parenting and mentoring.

"They're beginning to answer this call," Strange said.

A parenting summit is planned for April to tackle issues like bullying, domestic violence, and parenting in the age of social media. A meeting of Montgomery's ministers is also planned for April and at least one church is planning big for the summer!

"We need our children to have something good to do when they're not in school," explained Brian Miller, Pastor at Aldersgate Methodist Church. His church has landed Winshape Camp - a week-long day camp, started by Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, open to all kids in 1st-through 9th grades.

"It's a community event, and so it's going to take partnerships and partnerships will include businesses, governmental agencies, and other churches. So we will engage other churches and find ways for them to recruit children from their areas to be a part of Winshape as well," Miller explained.

Aldersgate's plan is to raise enough money for Winshape Camp to offer at least a partial scholarship to everyone who attends. It would like to offer a full scholarship to at least half of the camp's participants.

Friday, Chick-Fil-A on the Eastern Boulevard is hosting a "Road Show" Camp preview, with actual camp activities set up in the parking lot. The first few scholarships will be drawn that night.

The official camp starts June 4.

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