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Resumption of the after-school program “Stop violence”

ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (KALB) – Stop the Violence is a non-profit organization that aims to keep young people in central Louisiana out of trouble. On Tuesday afternoon, the organization held its first after-school program nearly a year after a COVID hiatus.

The program runs Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Charles Haywood Center. Every child who signs up for the program must show their grades and be scanned by a metal detector before entering. During the programs, children learn life lessons from guest speakers, receive help with homework, and play sports and games. Fred Burgess, president of the organization, said educating and providing children with a safe space with trustworthy role models is essential for their future.

“We want to mentor the kids, we want to see what the kids are going through, we want to see what the challenge is in their lives,” Burgess said. “A lot of kids have things built up inside them that they want to talk to someone about and they feel like ‘who can I go talk to?’ so I want this program to be a mentoring program with kids coming at the gym and open up and tell me what’s going on in their life. I want to see their grades, I want to see what they’re doing, if they miss school, how many days they missed school, what kind of grades they have if they have bad grades they can always come to talk to me we will work with them to try and improve the grades.

The program is in partnership with the City of Alexandria’s Housing Authority, which is why the program may use the Charles Hayward Center.

“We saw this as a great way to partner with Stop the Violence, providing social services and events for children in the Housing Authority and Central Louisiana communities,” said Stephan Fontenot, executive director of the Housing Authority.

Stop the Violence is also sponsored by the Hixson Autoplex of Alexandria, which provided dinner for the children at Tuesday’s meeting.

“There are a lot of kids out there who need a safe place to play and study, they also need a place where they can relax,” Dallas Hixson said. “My wife and I, the dealership, are proud to sponsor this. Fred Burgess is dynamic, he gives his time to this community to serve underprivileged children. It’s what we’re meant to do, we’re meant to give back to our community, so it’s the right place to be.

For more information on Stop the Violence: Alexandria Chapter, CLICK HERE. To enroll a child in the program, you can email Fred Burgess at Stoptheviolencealexla@gmail.com, or call him at (225)-250-6272.

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