Lynn K. Loyd
Special to the Valley News
Community Outreach Ministry, a nonprofit public charity organization offers multiple services to children and youth whose parents are incarcerated in Riverside County. COM will host an Easter celebration with workshops in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics during a Technology Day Camp Saturday, April 8, from 2-5 p.m. at the Murrieta Public Library, in partnership with Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship. Prison Fellowship is the world’s largest Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to helping prisoners, former prisoners and their families, and is a leading advocate for justice reform.
Prison Fellowship has formed a decadeslong partnership with Community Outreach Ministry and regularly refers at-risk youth to the ministry; an organization formed by Mona Salomo-Davies, Ph.D., and her husband “Coach Bob,” a retired aerospace engineer and veteran who will oversee the event’s STEAM projects and be among the adults who will assist mentees at the workshops. Salomo-Davies and her team will provide caregivers with a questionnaire to discover their greatest needs and provide comprehensive community support services, referrals and resources helping youth to break the cycle of incarceration and reduce recidivism.
Prison Fellowship celebrates each April Second Chance Month to raise awareness of barriers in jobs, education and housing to unlock brighter futures for people with a criminal record by working with partners, corporations, churches, state governments, nonprofits and department of corrections. Together partners are working to help rebuild families, empower children and prepare men and women to return to society.
According to Vera: Incarceration Trends – California has an estimated 16,200 children in Riverside County.
“It is our desire to reach as many of these youngsters possible with educational and vocational gifts at the holidays and year-round, as well as with the Gospel message, and a personal message of love on behalf of the children’s mom or dad behind bars,” according to its website https://www.prisonfellowship.org.
The Technology Day Camp will offer youth the opportunity to engage with adults such as Coach Bob who have extensive experience and knowledge in the academic disciplines that encompass STEAM. At-risk youth, an underrepresented and underserved population, will participate in “Gearing Up for STEAM” Mentor Protégé Workshops to advance youth from low-income households to improve equities in the STEAM field through observational and practical mentor-based learning and building robots from science kits designed for children aged eight to 18 to catch a vision for becoming an engineer, scientist or working in aerospace for a career.
Sewing Stories Coach Cynthia Duran, a craft and sewing expert, will be providing participants with art supplies, decoupage and fabric scraps to create a one-of-a-kind work of art. Duran, who has more than 20+ years of experience and is known for her ability to inspire children to make their own choices of color and placement as the best part of the workshop.
Also invited to the technology event is Camp Agape California who will be on board to register youth ages 7-17 with scholarships provided by Prison Fellowship during the four-day Labor Day weekend. At camp campers enjoy making new friends and team-building activities in a safe and entertaining environment learning biblical truths, spiritual growth and character development.
Community Outreach Ministry is a volunteer-operated, community-based organization and welcomes sponsors and donations, “giving at-risk kids a second chance to be winners and champions.”
To give visit https://www.communityoutreachministry.org and scan the QR code, or click on chip-in or text “DONATE CHAMPIONS” to 609-212-0627. Checks may also be made payable to Community Outreach Ministry and mailed to 23905 Clinton Keith Road Suite 114 #116, Wildomar, CA 92595. For more information call 951-698-7650 or email at email@example.com.