Closed jail could be summer stay for Shreveport kids

October 5, 2017 - summer camp

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Shreveport Times

An aged jail in south Caddo Parish could be home to a beach-themed summer stay for economically disadvantaged kids if one Shreveport integrate gets their way.

Kip and Jennifer Cummings presented a offer Monday to a Caddo Parish Commission outlining their skeleton to renovate a Forcht-Wade Correctional Center. The integrate runs Surfari Pals, a nonprofit module that teaches manners and impression growth to immature children.

The stay — Camp Surfari — would mimic their improvement programs now taught in Southern Hills Elementary.

The module uses a array of charcterised sea characters to learn children a certain set of skills or traits. Surfari Pals’ Ollie a Octopus, formed on Shreveport’s Mayor Ollie Tyler, teaches kids to purify adult their neighborhoods, schools and a universe one square of rabble during a time.

The skill would be renovated in 3 phases, starting with a prison’s hospital, chapel and room nearby a facility’s entrance. 

The ensure towers would turn lifeguard stations, a H2O building a lighthouse. The bars and windows would be wrapped in bamboo to give a stay a “tiki hovel feel,” Kip Cummings told commissioners. The beach thesis was desirous by his childhood in southern California.

“You can’t have a bad day during a beach,” he said.

Forcht-Wade once housed 500 inmates but sealed in 2012 following a turn of state bill cuts. An onsite examination of a property in Apr 2015 identified upgrades indispensable for a trickery to work as a prison, pronounced Krystle Grindley, open information officer for Caddo Parish.

It is not nonetheless transparent what upgrades are necessary for a Camp Surfari to open.  

“We trust that revitalizing existent buildings is healthier for a village than invariably building new ones,” a group’s offer pronounced about regulating a aged prison. “One of a characters is Jennifer a Jewelfish. This impression teaches children to recycle, reuse and repurpose. By regulating a stream buildings and structures already in place, and repurposing them for a larger good, we set an instance for others.”

Plans call for a 50-camper commander run subsequent summer, Cummings said.

The stay could be entirely operational by summer 2019, providing week-long stay during June, Jul and Aug for 100 kids in grades 3 by 5, with skeleton to embody comparison kids and immature adult mentors as it expands, Kip said.

Participating kids would come from Title we schools, definition during slightest 40 percent of a students are from low-income families. These are kids who wouldn’t differently get a summer stay experience, Cummings said.

The goal: a high-energy, low-technology stay with an importance on outside activities and teamwork, he said.

Surfari Pals also hopes a stay would yield second-chance practice opportunities to non-violent offenders who pass credentials checks. The employees would hoop on-site upkeep or assistance Surfari Pals container monthly subscription Surf Boxes, Cummings said.

“These are people who are employable, though not by everybody,” Kip said.

Surfari Pals skeleton to accommodate this week with Kevin Lawrence, director of upkeep and comforts for Caddo Parish, to plead costs.

The integrate is not seeking for income from a commission, only a use of a property. They devise to account a try by donations, renting out a skill to groups for events and other fundraising strategy such as having people compensate $25 to spend a night in a jail cell, Kip said.

The property’s large, open spaces could be ideal for bringing in rides for a prime fair, Cummings said. But skeleton for a stay are still in a early stages.

“Imagine a dichotomy of regulating a prison, something that once housed prisoners (and) was used for reform, will now be used as a place of wish and learning,” Jennifer Cummings pronounced during a elect meeting.

The integrate is all in. They’ve sole their home to start their camp, Kip Cummings said, adding: “We have a mission. We wish to do something in Caddo Parish.”

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