The Pine Mountain Enrichment Program has met the needs of children in a rural town for the last eight years. Every town or city has need for summer program for children. This is a real community need that benefits the children and parents. A summer program can provide enriching field trips and prevention programs that would increase children's awareness of crime, drug, tobacco use, gang awareness and juvenile crime.
In November of 1999, the Pine Mountain Enrichment Program was organized by Minister Bernard Johnson, a newcomer to Pine Mountain, GA. Johnson is former pastor of a church in Hilton Head Island, SC and Savannah, GA. He is also a former College Head Coach, former counselor for troubled children, former Program Coordinator for an After-School Program for At-Risk Middle School students. He has served in many other positions helping to build future leaders.
Johnson saw the need to organize a program for children ages 5-13 years old that would help the children continue to grow and develop socially, physically and culturally during the summer. Before 1999, there were no known program in operation in Pine Mountain to meet the needs of the children.
One of the goals of this non-profit program is to provide positive and enriching activities and field trips. The blending of educational activities and enriching field trips has made the program fun for the children. The program has provided services to children in other nearby towns. Since 2000, 151 children has participated in the summer day camp activities. About 80% percent of them came to Summer Day Camp free thanks to the strong support received from sponsors in Charleston, SC and Hilton Head Island, SC. The program also received strong support from sponsors in Savannah, GA. A church in Hamilton, GA also gave support to the program.
The program expanded its services in 2000, to meet the needs of the children and the parents. In 2005, The Summer Day Camp provided a week of summer employment readiness. The children attending camp this week learned how to find resource to find summer jobs. They also visited several employers that hire summer help to gain knowledge of what skills they need for the jobs.
The program also has provided educational enhancement by taking the children to tour 7 colleges in Georgia and 2 in Alabama. The program has survived many barriers to provide these activities for the children.