CHOICE cookout planned

Published 8:01 pm Friday, August 7, 2015

By Henry Luzzatto


CHOICE Kids of Suffolk will have a cookout from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Lake Meade Park to celebrate a successful summer program and raise awareness so it can be extended into the school year.

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CHOICE is a summer camp that meets at the Salvation Army Corps and Community Center from 2 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the summer.

Antwan Robinson, the founder of the organization, says the cookout will be a chance for people in the community to come together.

“It’s open to the public, because we’re trying to get the youths together off the streets,” Robinson said.

Getting children off the streets is a primary goal of CHOICE, which stands for Children Helping Other Individuals See Elevation, Robinson said. This is especially important to him, Robinson said, having once been a troubled youth himself.

During their time at CHOICE, children learn about spiritual teachings, bullying prevention, music and life lessons for young men and women, Robinson said. Students 16 and older can access computers and can get assistance searching for a job, Robinson said.

Robinson said he has the assistance of about 10 volunteers to teach and watch more than 147 children.

He wants to expand CHOICE to be a year-round program by offering free tutoring during the school year.

“Our plan is to use the children from high school to teach the younger ones, and they can earn community service credit while they do it,” Robinson said. “That’s our ultimate goal.”

CHOICE is looking for sponsors and donors in order to keep feeding the children at camp, Robinson said. He also plans to use donations to help pay for back-to-school clothing for those who cannot afford it.

“And we definitely need prayers,” Robinson said.

Though CHOICE is not sponsored by a church, it emphasizes faith, and many of the volunteers are from Southside Baptist Church, where Robinson is a member.

“God gave this gift to me,” Robinson said. “I’m trying to bring it back to the community.”