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Community Spotlight: The KING Community Center

Community Spotlight: The KING Community Center

Reaffirming self love - Several girls of the program proudly show off their family trees while taking part in an ethnic identity workshop facilitated by Dr. Witherspoon and her research lab

The KING Community Center’s Girls’ Summer Enrichment Program, located at Zion Lutheran Church in downtown Harrisburg, provides young girls ages 6 to 12 an opportunity to engage in activities that build their social and academic skills, as well as their self-esteem and confidence.  A glimpse into the girls’ various activities includes engaging in morning time enrichment for math and reading, developing healthy cooking skills, learning appropriate responses to social situations (e.g. bullying, forming respect for one another), and reaffirming the importance of love for the skin they’re in. The program also partners with additional community and academic organizations, including PACT and the YWCA, to provide the girls with various positive educational workshops and a chance to interact with other exemplary women.  

Program founder Dr. Lavette Paige hopes that these activities will add to an integral foundation from which young girls in the community are able to “thrive, not just survive”. Dr. Paige and community organizers collaborated to form the Girls’ Summer Enrichment Program six years ago, largely as an idea fueled by Dr. Paige’s own hardships growing up in disadvantaged circumstances, during which she at times felt behind and underprepared compared to her peers. Fortunately, just as Dr. Paige never gave up on her dreams of success, this program provides young girls with the confidence and skills to “be able to sit in any audience and know that they belong there - at any board table and know they belong.”

Excitingly, the Girls’ Summer Enrichment Program has seen considerable growth not only in size, but also in the number of girls who are happy to return to the program and engage in yet another stimulating summer. In the future, the program hopes to expand even further by including exciting education on STEM fields and is currently looking to build partnerships with additional organizations. The program is also seeking supportive grants that will allow further incorporation of technology and help keep costs of running the program at a reasonable fee for the girls. Community members and others interested in knowing more about the Girls’ Summer Enrichment Program or interested in collaboration can visit their website at www.king-center.org or call 717-315-8182. 

We celebrate the Girls’ Summer Enrichment Program for its dedication to our community’s young girls!

For more information on the Context and Development lab, click here.

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