Keeping children safe is an ongoing project for Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, and they have done so for 30 years with the help of generous community members and hard work.
The late Pastor Edward O. Sanford Jr. started after-school programs in 1991 with the goal of helping children with homework and creating a stable place for students between the end of school and the return of their parents. at home.
This gave birth to the after-school activity program, ASAP.
“His goal was to find something to get kids off the streets,” said ASAP director Niesha Brown.
The first generation of students in the program ensures the continuity of the project. Brown attended ASAP through Pilgrim Rest in 2009. “I’m a product of the original program,” she said.
“We’re a place where kids can pick up a meal and help with homework,” she said, adding that “the program has remained 100 percent free since 1990.”
Currently, ASAP enrolls 57 students from kindergarten through high school, offering programs that help them do better in school and learn new skills.
“We teach a sewing class in the old choir hall and we have retired teachers who come in to help the students with their homework,” Brown said.
Normally, between five and seven volunteers help each day.
Older youth can take advantage of their Dress for Success program through ASAP which helps them write and print resumes and lets them use interview clothes to get jobs.
It is not necessary to be a member of the church to participate as soon as possible. “Only two of our students are members of the church,” Brown said.
ASAP offers scholarships to students who complete the program and graduate from high school, earn their GED, or volunteer.
Programs are offered Monday through Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. with free transportation to the scheduled facility.
Anyone interested in getting involved with ASAP or wishing to register can contact Brown at 713-480-5245, firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at PO Box 525, El Campo TX 77437.