Columbus community members work together to eliminate youth crime during summer
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Columbus Municipal School District is holding a community meeting about efforts to reduce violence among the city’s youth., especially gun violence.
The meeting got underway at 5:30. The School Board is bringing parents and the community together to discuss ways to get children engaged in positive activities over the Summer Break.
We also talked to people in the community about how they plan to keep kids out of harm’s way.
Summer is just around the corner, and people in Columbus are sitting down and brainstorming about what they can do to keep kids in the community out of trouble.
“We want to make sure our children are safe. that they are loved, that they are understood and more than anything that they have something to do,” said Cequila Bigbee.
Cequila Bigbee is the Regional Coordinator for Reach One Teach One Ministries in Columbus. She says she is already reaching out to organizations to help kids
“We want to partner with these different churches and the different organizations that will actually come out, brainstorm and put together mentorship programs and different activities and different things that kids can do to help build not only character but morale and just kind of help them to have the way paved for them,” said Bigbee.
Columbus Municipal School District Athletic Director John Davis is even working with the School District to reach out to Elementary school kids to join Middle School Students at athletic camps.
“We are extending that even further this year we are going into the month of July and we are offering a mini camp for certain sports this year baseball softball and volley ball just to give them something to do so we can help continue to be in their lives and help influence them in a positive way,” said Davis.
Davis even says that after years of working with kids he can see the impact that it has on them and he wants that to continue.
“It helps keep them out of trouble because they also have a reason that they want to attend school and they have a reason to stay out of trouble and they have a reason to try and be successful and theres lessons that they can learn through athletics that other areas cant necessarily teach them,” said Davis.
Columbus COO, Jammie Garrett and others in the community are working on a program called “Reclaim our Youth”
“We all got together and we want to address some of the issues that we are facing like how can we make it better for the summer and so that where reclaiming our youth came from,” said Garrett.
Garrett says it’s not just about giving kids something to do; it’s giving them the right things to do at the right time.
“We know that between the hours of 8 and 3 we need to address a steady curriculum that’s something fun and something that will keep the kids minds on what’s most important so we are all in the process of developing a curriculum for them and that will be for students from the age of 13-17,” said Garrett.
Garrett says the team is already planning activities.
“We want all kids but we definetly want those that may be having difficulty with behavior issues or just issues at home and we will teach them things from forensic science gardening we have a fire academy, debate, chess. just anything that will keep them busy and motivated throughout the summer,” said Garrett.
The reclaiming our youth program will have a meeting Wednesday at 6 and invites people in the community to join and they are also open to ideas to keep children entertained this summer.