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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Living Water plans after-school program

The Rev. Steve Farnsworth knew more than a year ago that there was a need for after-school programs for middle school students in the Central Valley School District. But his church, Living Water Community Church, was meeting in a hotel and had no facilities of its own. Now the church is finally in a position to help.

With volunteers signed up and donated materials standing by, Farnsworth plans to launch an after-school program next week that will offer a safe haven for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders every Monday and Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

“It’s kind of fun working together to meet the needs of the community,” he said. “Our goal is to simply give a safe place for kids to go after school.”

The youths will gather in a remodeled garage at 15008 E. 16th Ave. Farnsworth leads worship services at a nearby school, but a remodeled house at 16th and Progress now serves as the church’s home base.

The former garage is filled with more than old couches. There are games galore – pingpong, foosball and more. Teens who don’t feel like playing games will be able to join one of several classes in cooking, small engine repair, auto maintenance and wood carving.

The goal is to teach kids practical skills as well as core values and responsibility. The program will not have a religious component – no Bible study, no prayer sessions. At their first visit to the after-school program teens will be given a permission slip for parents to sign to allow their children to attend.

Farnsworth hopes to keep the cost of the program down by using volunteers and donated materials. Teens will not be asked to pay any fees. “We don’t want to alienate any kid over a few bucks,” he said.

The remodeled house is near Evergreen Middle School, but Farnsworth said that any middle school student will be welcome. A bus stop is located in front of the house.

Farnsworth hopes to eventually expand the program to five days a week. “We thought that it would be better to start small” to make sure the church can sustain the effort, he said. He’s heard that other churches are considering starting similar programs. “We’re kind of a test case.”

Call the church at 891-1438 for more information.

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