CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Salvation Army has hired a new director for its “Ark of Learning” after-school program and will proceed with plans to expand the program.
“It is a time when so many kids come home to an empty home because mom and dad are busy working to support the family,” says Captain Helen Johnson.
“It is a time when many kids struggle through homework alone. It is a time when many kids have little to no socialization outside of school and families cannot afford sports or music classes.”
She added that: “It is a time when addictions, poverty and depression affect many of our families. After-school programs like ‘The Ark of Learning’ at the Salvation Army are vital.”
Johnson says that kids need encouragement to strive to do their best at homework, to learn extracurricular activities that give them a passion and to develop strong friendships and character building lessons.
“The Salvation Army has been helping the children of our community grow and learn for over 10 years now,” she says. “The program has been through several transitions and continues to grow and expand.”
Recently, the Salvation Army was able to hire Linda Swatsworth as the new director of this program. She came “very qualified and eager” to join the team of hardworking volunteers, according to Johnson.
For now, the program will stay the same, running two days weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. It is open to elementary school-aged kids. In January, it will expand by opening Wednesday night up for high school students.
“At this program, kids receive homework help, a hot healthy meal, dance, art or sports clubs and are involved in a scouting program where they earn badges by mastering a topic,” explains Johnson.
“All this is free and there are no qualifications to participate. To donate to, participate in or volunteer with this program, please call: 814-765-4981.”