Mentoring program plans YELP at The BRIDGE

SOUTH BAY — The Kings Tutoring and Mentoring Foundation Inc. soon will start a new program called YELP that founder Barbara King plans to put in place as soon as they can into the building they’re calling “The BRIDGE.”

No relation to the organization known as BRIDGES of Palm Beach County (a Children’s Services Council program that has offices in Belle Glade and Pahokee), The BRIDGE is just a name to pair with their new logo for the new undertaking at the KTM Foundation, she explained.

The KTM Foundation/BRIDGE will be moving within a few weeks into its new facility, at 1035 Palm Beach Road. Unlike BRIDGE, YELP’s initials do stand for something: “Youth Empowerment and Leadership Program.”

Ms. King explains it this way:
The plan is to offer programs providing youth tutoring/homework assistance (virtual tutoring for autism); mentoring support; educational summer camp/college tours; recreation opportunities; community services; life skills/proper manners and etiquette training; runaway and homeless youth programs; and more.

There also will be programs for adults in tutoring and computer training/literacy; workshops offering job search assistance and health care and/or shelter referrals; and others to come later.

The KTM Foundation has been assisting the youth of the region since its founding in 2015. It is already making tutoring and mentoring available.

“We presently have a retired schoolteacher; she’s pretty much mobile now, doing tutoring. She tutors elementary students at the present time. Once we open, she will still be mobile, but she will also be tutoring inside the facility after school as well,” said Ms. King.

She said they’ve been working on this project since after the end of last summer’s football program, in August/September 2019. Ms. King said she was to meet with the owner of the former restaurant building at the Palm Beach Road address on Friday, Jan. 17, and should know soon when he and his workers will finish their repairs and renovations of the building.

“I’m hoping by spring break we’ll have it open,” she said.

“We were using my church facility most of the time (previously),” she explained. “Now that they have been renovating it and leasing it out, we decided to venture out and get our own facility.”

Ms. King said they’re almost done with the preparations, and the building will sport a fresh new paint job.

“We just got paint donated from the Solid Waste Authority, and we’ll be painting the outside. We have a local artist who is drawing the logo of the kids joining hands on the bridge on the outside, and we will be using local high school students, volunteering, to help us out with some of the painting.”

Once it’s finished, the YELP empowerment center will feature “10 desktop computers and six laptop computers available for our students,” Ms. King stated.

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