Courtesy of WCTV:
By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) — On Sunday, students in the Venture Club had a safe place to run and play, while also learning right from wrong.
The Venture Club is a local organization that aims to change the lives of kids throughout the community. Students come together to play games, do schoolwork and learn about the Bible. They also receive a free meal.
“This comes in handy, we get a chance to get them out of the house a little bit, feed them, give them some knowledge about the Bible, stuff they can use in every day practices and stuff,” said Lead Instructor Tameka Hazzard.
Organizers and volunteers say over the last few years, they’ve noticed significant changes in the students.
“They’re respectful, they do what they’re supposed to do, they listen, they respect their elders, they come in and they do their work,” said Activity Director Glen Bridges.
Kids of all ages are welcome to participate. Older students have a chance to be team leaders, setting an example for the younger groups.
“It’s really to get kids off the streets so they can have a good future in this club. I really think that it’s a great thing with us and for the kids,” said Team Leader Diquone Sears. Sears, 17, has participated for three years.
“I basically joined up to be a good influence on the kids, teach them lessons that I didn’t get to learn as a kid,” Sears said. “I’ve seen a lot of changes. Some of the kids that used to be shy didn’t want to participate in the games, and now that we have started to get to know them better they’re getting used to us now. They’re starting to participate more.”
Calvin Bergman is the newest team leader.
“It’s about helping little kids that do not know better, teach them the right thing and not the wrong thing,” Bergman said.
The club serves about 150 students. The program is free and open to anyone, meeting every Sunday. Organizers also offer transportation for those that need it.
More information on how to get involved can be found on the program’s Facebook page.