Selinsgrove, Snyder County (WBRE/WYOU-TV) From a charred church to an after school outlet the Regional Engagement Center in central Pennsylvania is up and running.
Children are taking full advantage of free activities. From the pool table, to playing music, to the outside. The Center, known as the R.E.C is a welcoming place for children. Dara Tuttle reminisces about how it became an after school program for those in the Selinsgrove area.
"It's crazy to think this was just a church that burned down and we took it and we turned it and we created this fun sport," said Tuttle.
After a capital campaign to purchase the former 'Christ United Methodists Church' in 2016 for $150,000 construction started in January. Through donations and fundraising the 'Coalition 4 Kids' has turn this place into an outlet for elementary, middle and high schoolers. Aiming to keep them off the streets.
"Decrease drug abuse in kids, decrease anti-social behavior and increase their social positive opportunity," said Kelley Feiler, the Director of the R.E.C
To full fill their goal after school programs will help with homework, literacy and just free time. Hanging out playing air hockey. Tuttle is one teen leader helping daily. There's just one rulle she says "we're just going to make sure everyone has fun here!"
In order to keep the doors open and the kids to come in there is a lot of donations that have to keep this place running. More than $700,000 has been poured into the R.E.C thus far. With another $400,000 in donated goods and products. "I think they are very excited and are inspired by what we are going to be able to provide for the community," said Feiler.
Dozens of children already enjoying what it has to offer in it's second day open. "Pretty fun we get to play a lot of games and we do our homework," said Logan Bitting.
For more information on the R.E.C head to their website by clicking here.