Lexington after school program perseveres after fire

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Patrick Horton is working on clearing out the top floor of Ezekial AME Zion Church in Lexington to make room for his new vision.

He has one week to turn two to three empty rooms into an after school center.

The space needs to be big enough to handle the 25 to 30 students which are part of the Kidz Dreamz Klub after school program.

"I think it's going to be really, really good, and I’m excited about it," said Horton, the chief executive director of the program.

It's something temporary, a place for students to study and do homework until the program can move somewhere permanent.

On Dec. 17, a fire caused by an electrical short ripped through the program’s old building destroying books, games and TVs, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

But Horton says even a fire can't stop his mission.

"When the building burns, the dreams won't burn,” he said. “Dreams will go on."

And they did.

Just days later, the church which leased the building to the after school program about one year ago quickly opened its open doors again.

"We had to make some immediate steps,” said Rev. Douglas Edmond of Ezekial AME Zion Church.  “If you lose kids, you don't necessarily get them back. And we wanted to make sure that we could start right away doing something."

The program is a resource parents like Stephanie Hairston who works eight to 12 hours a day can't afford to lose.

"It's a big help,” Hairston said. “You can go to work, do what you've got to do."

The after school center will reopen on Jan. 5.

To donate money to help the program, email KidzDreamzKlub590@gmail.com.

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