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Salvation Army after school programs at Miller Rec to now be held at Salvation Army

The after school programs that were scheduled to take place at the Miller Recreation Center will still occur, a Salvation Army official said Monday, but just not at the West End facility.
“No one will be turned away because we are not in that physical location. At the end of the day it’s all about the kids,” said Lt. Josh Morese, head of the Salvation Army of Rowan County.
He said every child and young adult who wants to be part of the program can still join.
Morse said there are some things that need to be worked out, but for now the volunteers and Salvation Army staff will transport any child who wants to participate in the free programs to its headquarters, located at 620 Bringle Ferry Road.
The programs, which include a music conservatory, tutoring, after school snacks and a meal as well as life skills classes, began Monday.
Morse did not detail the reason for the change, but said the Salvation Army is “in the process of building a quality program and partnership with the city working to build as much sustainability to the program as possible so we can better serve those in the West End to the best of our ability.”
Morse added the agency is working with other partners in the county to “provide as much resources and opportunity as possible for those who call the West End home.”
The change comes on the heels of recent complaints from some citizens in the West End who said they were turned away from the Miller Rec Center and that the Salvation Army had “taken over.”
Morse said the programs are ones the Salvation Army had already been implementing at the Bringle Ferry Road location. He has said the programs were not to replace those programs already in place by Miller Recreation, but to give the children in the West End a safe environment for after school activities.
He added that although there is a $20 a week cost for tutoring there are scholarships available for families who apply.
The programs were set up in the West End to benefit children in the West End after some residents there voiced their concerns during a series of community forums about the neighborhood children not having anything to do.
Morse said the agency has a 15 passenger van that can be used to transport children from the West End to the Bringle Ferry Road location.
He said there has not been a lot of people who’ve signed up for the programs.
Assistant City Manager Zach Kyle did not detail any complaints about the Salvation Army programs, but referred a Post reporter to talk to “those folks who expressed those complaints.”
Kyle said the city is very open to work with anyone. He hopes “at some point in time to re-establish that relationship. It would’ve been beneficial to the neighborhood and to that area,” Kyle said of the Salvation Army.
Kyle said there was some misinformation about the after school programs, but did not explain further.
When asked if the cost of programs was an issue, Kyle said the pay structure for programs at Miller Recreation has not changed.
“If folks would like to provide programs since after the school programs would not be at Miller Rec if they have a proposal or want pick up this program, we invite them to call,” he said.
For more information about Miller Recreation Center programs, call 704-216-PLAY.
For more information about the Salvation Army after school programs, call 704-636-6491.

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