• 43°

Sinai Advancement Center opens

MURFREESBORO – The Mount Sinai Church of God officially opened the Sinai Center for Advancement (SCFA) on Main Street, adjacent to the church here Saturday.

First envisioned by Pastor Arthur Clark and his wife in 1999, the SCFA is a nonprofit, Christian, charitable organization that provides physical, social, educational, vocational/technical, therapeutic and economic assistance for those in the surrounding communities.

The Board of Directors, an eight-person group including Clark, headed the establishment of the Center and will help to further continue the work done through the SCFA.

&uot;Pastor and first lady Clark had the vision and the executive board plans to make the vision come into fruition,&uot; Trenette Clark, President of the Board of Directors, said.

The center will now start offering a number of programs to the community.

A tutorial program, which assists students K-12 and General Equivalency Diploma, gives extra help outside the school by North Carolina licensed teachers and trained volunteers.

Teen/Adult Literacy Basic Education classes are held with instruction in reading, writing, science and math.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Sessions are offered to educate teens on puberty, abstinence, self esteem, teen pregnancy prevention and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

A project was started called The Helping Other People Exceed (HOPE) project which works with young people, ages 12 to 17, who are at risk of dropping out of school, experiencing teen pregnancy, committing suicide and/or committing acts of violence. The activities for this project include educational workshops, enrichment activities, life skills training, yearly retreats and mentoring by SCFA volunteers.

Parenting classes are offered dealing with effective communication, adolescent sexuality and teen mothers.

&uot;The Center is going to have a great impact in the community and we are excited about what is taking place,&uot; Gilda Ward, Board of Directors Chair said. &uot;A lot of people, dedication and service went into making this place possible.&uot;

Many of the programs and activities are still in the works for the SCFA and will come into place during the next six years.

This December, the Center will serve as a Food Distribution Center and next summer will start a Summer Enrichment Program for youth.

The plans for the summer of 2007 are range from Outpatient Rehablitation to Substace Abuse Support Group, and Orientation of Inmates Back into Society to Individual and Group Therapy Sessions.

Eventually the Center would like to open up rehabilitation housing for substance abusers and housing for senior citizens.

For more information, to volunteer, or to give a tax deductible donation to the Center call 398-8200, email sinaicenter@yahoo.com, or visit the website http://groups.hamptonroads.com/SinaiCenterAdv