MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — This is the first time Mobile Parks and Recreation has implemented a program like this one, it is called the after school All-Star program and it is completely free.

The goal is to provide Mobile youth with a positive and safe environment where they can have fun and feel like they belong.

The program will be available to kids in Mobile County at 10 different community facilities from ages 5 to 16 It will begin September 6 and run Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. until December 16.

Students will receive tutoring, homework help and will also be exposed to different hobbies like sports and the arts.

Additionally, they’ve partnered with Feeding the Gulf Coast to provide students with healthy meals.  

Superintendent of Recreation, Shadrach Collins, says the motivation behind this new program stems from the success of their summer camps.

“We see it’s a need for us to provide this for the families,” said Collins. “You have a lot of single parent homes, a lot of parents that work so you have that gap time between school where we can fill that gap.”

Collins explains how the community is benefiting from the City’s commitment to this program.

“You make an investment in the kids’ physical, social and emotional well-being and when you do that you cut down on the crime,” said Collins. “It’s a direct reflection if the kid is being enriched and learning that they have opportunities they don’t become desperate…desperation leads to the negative outcomes.”

Their hope is to keep this program going beyond this year however, they are still in need of educators and volunteers to benefit the young people.

Both educators and students who are interested in taking part in the program can still register by clicking here.