As part of the outreach ministries at United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, new Children’s Coordinator Jennifer Glancy was surprised to learn of the number of children in the community that are experiencing a lack of food, support and other areas of critical needs. Glancy began to brainstorm to find a way to address this situation. Her solution is a program called Drama @ The Center, which includes socialization, homework help, a meal, transportation and enrichment.
“The idea for Drama Club @ The Center was born from a meeting with local school leaders who voiced their critical needs for safe, after-school enrichment activities that would be available to local students regardless of their ability to pay,” said Glancy. “They confided that some of our area students have food insecurity, some need enrichment, some need mentoring and others just need opportunities to socialize safely.”
After considering the needs that local school leaders were struggling with, United Methodist Church of Sun City Center joint ministry programs decided the best way to support its community and meet multiple critical needs was to offer a free after-school program.
“We already had a similar program designed to do just that. It’s called Kid’s Club and meets on Monday night,” said Glancy. “We realized that we might not be able to help families if they were unaware of our offerings. Schools are unable to advertise religious programs; therefore, in an effort to reach the area children most in need of such a program, we developed Drama Club @The Center. It’s a free drama-education club. It teaches the basics of the dramatic arts to children grades [three to eight] in a safe social environment. It provides a full nutritious meal and meets most Tuesday evenings from 5-7 p.m.”
Transportation can also be provided if needed and if the home address falls within the route radius. The program started accepting applicants in October 2021 and is currently fully enrolled. With more vetted volunteers, Glancy is hoping to grow the size and age ranges of the club. This program is funded primarily by United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, although they are applying for several grants and also gladly accept focused donations.
Drama Club @ The Center plans to meet throughout the spring and culminate in a member-written and produced performance in May. Any parties interested in volunteering should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.