Football fans know what the end zone is.

At The Alley, End Zone is an after school program set up for 6th through 8th grade students.

"We host between 20 and 40 students a day," said Mindy Stapleton, executive director of The Alley. "It depends on the season and which new sport just started up.

"As students realize they don’t want to participate in a sport, they start coming back."

End zone promotes healthy lifestyles and encourages middle school students to walk to The Alley after school.

According to information provided by The Alley, End Zone focuses on four areas of student development — Tutoring/Homework Assistance; Community Service Learning; Healthy & Life Skills; and Physical Fitness.

There is no cost for students to participate in the program, but a student registration is required.

The Alley offers a monitored computer lab and tutors are available for students to complete homework. End Zone activities include healthy snack demonstrations, cooking classes, youth police academy, arts and crafts projects, guest speakers and physical fitness activities.

"We start off with homework first and they can receive help," Stapleton said. "But the kids enjoy the healthy snacks as we’ve had Prime on the Nine come in and help them make something and then they get to eat it.

"We’ve also had Anytime Fitness and the YMCA come in for exercise and teaching kids to do things right."

The Alley, which promotes healthy choices for teens, also hosts Friday night dances throughout the school year for Dodge City school students.

The Alley's mission is to provide safe, affordable entertainment and activities for youth in Dodge City and surrounding communities. The Alley strives to reduce drug, alcohol and tobacco use, reduce gang participation and teen violence, and promote healthy behaviors. The teen center has been open since 1997 and is a positive force in the community as well as in the lives of the youth it serves. The Alley’s 7,000-square-foot facility features two 3-on-3 basketball courts, dance floor, pool tables, flat screen TVs, snack bar, full-equipped kitchen and a computer lab.

"We often have tournaments for basketball or on the sand volleyball court," Stapleton said. "We have board games and lots of fun."  

End Zone is not available on days there is no school. The program runs Monday through Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about The Alley, its programs or End Zone, call 620-225-8282.


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