With a long history of serving the people of north Joplin behind it, a neighborhood community center will be celebrating a new addition and looking forward to more new things in the near future.
The Neighborhood Life House, a community center at 516 N. Wall Ave., Joplin, will be the scene of a ribbon-cutting Saturday to celebrate the completion of a new outdoor basketball court on the center’s southeast corner.
The ribbon-cutting will be part of the House’s “Night at the Court” fall fundraiser and open house from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.
Addie Jarrett, director of the center, said the fenced-in basketball court will add to the programs and activities offered for the children of the North Heights Neighborhood and Joplin in general.
Jarrett said the center’s board decided four years ago it needed more outdoor space for children and families, and this is one part of the plans to provide that space.
“This was four years ago so we started raising the funds to be able to do that, and with individual donors and Schuber-Mitchell Homes providing over $20,000 to do that, we were able to start the process of putting that together, said Jarrett. Schuber-Mitchell has been awesome, they have provided us with the subcontractors and have taken oversight for the project and provided the necessary funds to be able to complete the project. We were able to complete the project quicker than what we expected because of their generosity and partnership with this basketball court project.”
Jarrett said the open house will be a come-and-go event with people coming and leaving at their leisure. People can try out the new basketball court, tour the Neighborhood Life House’s historic building, enjoy some hamburgers and hot dogs and see what the House has to offer for children.
Programs for kids
Jarrett said the House provides a wide variety of after-school programs for children from elementary to high school at the historic home that housed Ozark Christian College.
“We have programs for elementary and middle school and high school students throughout the week, Mondays through Thursdays,” Jarrett said. “They’re after-school programs and they are free and most of the students who come are from the North Heights Neighborhood and area. We have middle school and high school mentoring and Bible study groups. We’ve got a free ballet class called Daughters of the King ballet, we have art classes and music classes. We even have an origami class, some fun activities for students to connect with the ministry and to have a place for them to hang out after school.”
Jarrett said students who live in the North Heights Neighborhood, north of downtown Joplin and west of Main Street make up most of the students in the programs, but any Joplin resident can attend if they can provide transportation.
In addition to cutting …….