"This has always been a dream of mine," Laura Wells told The Brazil Times about a new youth center she is helping to organize in Clay City. "The ROCK will provide a Christian atmosphere where young adults can come together and hang out after school."
Organizers plan to provide a safe Christian atmosphere for junior high through college-age young adults can take advantage of the facility's coffee shop, game room, homework/tutoring room, chapel and many other activities.
The youth center will be open for young adults to visit starting Aug. 25, with a kick-off event planned for Sept. 5, and the special programs beginning on Sept. 8. While closed on Sundays, the facility will be open Monday through Saturday. Tutoring will also be available for 3:30-5 p.m. daily.
Various special activities are planned for each Friday of the month, including Concert Night, Pizza Night, Movie Night, Cookies and Karaoke Night.
Wells said the youth center will be privately funded from donations by local businesses, residents and potential grants.
"The Open House this Sunday will be a great opportunity for families to stop by between 1-5 p.m. They can tour the facility, pick up a calendar of scheduled events and meet with us to learn more about The ROCK," Wells said, adding that, although the doors about to open, organizers are still planning. "In the future, about a month from now, we are planning to begin developing a program for elementary age children. We really want to reach as many children as we can and provide the opportunity to introduce them to God."
With backgrounds in youth ministry, Wells and her husband Brian along with partners in the venture Tom and Lori Barnett are renovating a building located at 500 East 10th St.
"We are all very excited," Wells said about the group's enthusiasm. "We all have a passion for working with children."
Both couples have three children in their respective families and have a large amount of experience working with other children over the years.
"We've all had training and experiences that we can bring to this project," Wells said.
The Barnett's both worked in youth ministry while Tom was a youth pastor for 10 years.
"We will be able to offer compassionate and caring when and if a situation arises where someone might need to talk," she said.
The Wells have also worked with youth ministry, with Laura serving as a Youth For Christ director at Clay City Jr./Sr. High School until earlier this year when she resigned from the post.
"I wanted to do more," she said. "I wanted to be able to reach out to more children."
Wells said the whole purpose of The ROCK is to reach out to young adults and create positive adult relationships. That moment when a young adult realizes someone cares, and then they take the steps necessary to be the best they can be for the future and choose God to walk with them along life's journey, Wells said she, and her fellow partners, will know the project has been a success.
"I love God and children, and I want to help children love God," Wells said. "We all want to bring our community together in a way that helps direct the lives of children in a positive way. We are still looking for volunteers to partner with us in prayer and financially so that this can work."
'ROCK'ing Open House
"The ROCK" open house will be 1-5 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 24
The ROCK, a new youth center in Clay City, plans to provide a safe Christian atmosphere for junior high through college-age young adults to "hang out" while taking advantage of the facility's coffee shop, game room, homework/tutoring room, chapel and many other activities. Tutoring will be available for 3:30-5 p.m. daily.
While closed on Sundays, the facility will be open the following days with special activities planned, including;
* Monday -- 3-8 p.m., for senior high-college students only with a Club gathering planned at 6 p.m.,
* Tuesday -- 3-8 p.m., for all young adults with OMG Worship night,
* Wednesday -- 3-6 p.m., for junior high students only with a Club gathering planned at 6 p.m.,
* Thursday -- 3-8 p.m., an "Open Night" for all young adults, and
* Friday and Saturday -- 3-11 p.m., for all young adults with special events scheduled for each Friday during the month and an "Open Night" each Saturday. Friday's special events include Concert Night, Pizza Night, Movie Night, Cookies and Karaoke Night.