Dawson youth center celebrates Lights on Afterschool - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dawson youth center celebrates Lights on Afterschool

The Dawson youth center joined 8,000 sites across the country for the 17th annual Lights on Afterschool, stressing the importance of after school programs. (Source: WALB) The Dawson youth center joined 8,000 sites across the country for the 17th annual Lights on Afterschool, stressing the importance of after school programs. (Source: WALB)
Ashanti Rogers (Source: WALB) Ashanti Rogers (Source: WALB)
Positive Direction Youth Center Founder Dorothy Tomlin (Source: WALB) Positive Direction Youth Center Founder Dorothy Tomlin (Source: WALB)
Positive Direction Youth Center Facilitator Tracy Flournoy (Source: WALB) Positive Direction Youth Center Facilitator Tracy Flournoy (Source: WALB)
After school programs provides an environment that's key to children's success. (Source: WALB) After school programs provides an environment that's key to children's success. (Source: WALB)
DAWSON, GA (WALB) -

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, kids clapped and sang along to Christian artist Jamie Grace's song.

To them, 'it was a beautiful day' indeed.

But the real words behind the celebration were right on their red t-shirts: "Positive Direction Youth Center."

The Dawson youth center joined 8,000 sites across the country for the 17th annual Lights on Afterschool, stressing the importance of after school programs.

"It helps me pull up my grades, and it kind of helps like if I don't do my homework, they make me do it," said Ashanti Rogers.

12-year-old Ashanti Rogers knows that homework comes first before play.

"I try to do my math by myself and any teacher that's in that room with us, I try to have that person help me with it," said Rogers.

Founder Dorothy Tomlin requires parents to submit progress reports.

"We work specifically on those weak areas and a lot of the teachers work in the school system so they know exactly what the students are having difficulty with," said Tomlin.

As a grandparent and facilitator at the center, Tracy Flournoy has watched his grandson reap the benefits.

"Adding, addition starting out in second grade on to now he's in fourth and still excelling. I mean you can't beat the program," said Flournoy.

According to the latest research, the hours of between three and six are the most critical hours for students.

"It's a safe environment for the kids that go here," said Rogers.  

A precious environment that is key to children's success.

Right now, Positive Direction has a long waiting list but they hope new spots will open soon.

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