HOPE Center at Lincoln School is Open for the New Year

Lincoln Elementary School, HOPE Center Headquarters

Lincoln Elementary School, HOPE Center Headquarters


A new school year is underway in Lamar and the HOPE Center already is showing an increase in student involvement compared to last year. That news was relayed by HOPE director, Lori Hammer this past Monday, August 24 at the first meeting for the year at the Lincoln School headquarters. “We had between 140 students come in on the first few days last week and had up to 176 by the end of the week,” she explained, adding, “It’s been crazy but good. It went really well.”  Hammer told the HOPE Coalition that many of the students are from Lamar Middle School and are football players who attend after their practices. “We’re planning to remain open later for their schedule right now,” she stated, and said she expects those hours to get back to normal once they start their match ups. “Right now they’re concentrating on their homework first and then free time afterwards. We try to get them out by 8pm, but Gary and I may remain later to help them out.”

She told the members that a search is underway for tutors for the New Year, “We are losing two of them and we’re open to ideas on how to find new volunteers to help us out.” Hammer turned a portion of the meeting over the Shane Dashner and Kendra Cope, organizers for the ‘Paint the Plains Patriot Run’ which will begin at 5pm on September 12 at Willow Creek Park. Dashner said the proceeds from the entries will be donated to the Center. “Right now, we’re up to 76 people, and that’s an increase from the 30 or so we had last week,” he explained. There will be five paint stations where volunteers will spray the participants with painted cornstarch powder. At least five people are needed to staff on remaining station. Gerry Jenkins said she was able to contact the Colorado National Guard who has donated $2,300 to help set up this first time event. “We’ve had all the banks in town contribute from $200 to $250 and we also received some funding from OneMain Financial and Healthy Living,” she said. Other activities include face painting and there’ll be music to accompany the runners and walkers during their trek around the park and walking path near the hospital.

On funding, Hammer said the Center received a $20,000 After School grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, half of which will be used to pay an employee and the balance will be used for equipment for the gym. Coalition member, Anthony LaTour said two speakers have been scheduled for the Young HOPE students, a safety supervisor for the city will speak in September on self-motivation and the Colorado State Patrol will have the October schedule.

Hammer said the summer field trips were a success with a lot of students enjoying the Blue Rose Ranch near Springfield, a horse recovery ranch where the students had a chance to take part in some grooming chores, got to take a horseback ride and viewed the horses being set free in a pasture. She said plans are underway to go back next year. Kids also had fun with a trip to the Lollipop Factory in Vilas for the obvious reasons of being a kid in a candy factory.

A brief discussion followed about scheduling the annual October chili dinner and auction towards the end of October. No specific date has been set.

By Russ Baldwin


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