Redwood City Youth Drop In for Bowling, Books

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To help keep kids off the street, the Redwood City Corps has a program that’s right up the local youth’s alley.

Every Thursday, teenagers drop in to Mel’s Bowling Alley in Redwood City for a couple of hours of free bowling, food and help with their homework. The Army administers the Teen Drop-in Center which is jointly sponsored by The Salvation Army, the Redwood City Police Department, NFL Alumni Pros for Youth and Mel’s Bowling Alley.

“Corps members and supporters of the Army meet at the bowling alley on Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 PM,” said Envoy Ron McKinney, executive director. “The first hour is free time for recreation. The second hour the kids eat free McDonalds happy meals and listen to guest speakers from various businesses in the community, school officials and local law enforcement personnel who teach the children ‘goal setting skills’.”

The recent grand opening featured a host of NFL legends including Y.A. Tittle, Joe Perry and Chris Washington. The Redwood City Vice Mayor and Police Chief also attended. Since then, the Thursday night Teen Drop-In Center has grown from 60 to over 100 kids according to McKinney.

Besides the Thursday night activities, the Redwood City Corps, under the direction of Envoys Ron and Roberta McKinney, also provides youth activities on Tuesday nights. From 6:30 to 8:30 kids between 13 and 18 find a healthy alternative to gangs and drugs. For two hours, they combat the boredom that can often lead to trouble by playing games, getting help with their school work or just hanging out with friends in the corps’ safe, supportive atmosphere.

The same NFL alumni that participate in the Thursday night program also make themselves available on Tuesdays to serve as mentors for the teenagers, many of whom come from low income and broken families. In addition, younger children enjoy both Sunbeam and Adventure Corps troops.

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