South Pekin summer program starts up again for its 12th year

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:31 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - School’s out, and that means the kids are out too looking for ways to have fun this summer.

One man in South Pekin is providing a space for families to have a good time, free of charge.

Twelve years ago, Kenneth Wiseman saw a need in the community. He’s always worked in children’s ministry and felt the neighborhood kids needed something to do when they weren’t in school.

He started Streetwise Ministries. Every Thursday from now until school begins, he and Central Life Church put on a fun time for kids. They also provide a free hot meal.

“If you’ve got a kid and you’re rich, bring them out. You’ve got a kid and you’re poor, bring them,” Wiseman said. “We’re going to eat, we’re going to serve them hot meals, and we’re going to set up and they’ll enjoy everything.”

Thursday’s kickoff activities fit the hot weather. Kids were able to splash around on a blow-up waterslide. There were also several bouncy houses. Underneath the Mark Rice Memorial Pavillion, they served food.

The night starts with a ten-minute lesson, according to Wiseman. They average around 70 people a night. Wiseman hopes to get into the triple digits this year, even reaching more than 200 participants.

“It’s a ministry that’s mainly taking care of people, showing them we care. That we’re not hypocrites were just, we love them,” Wiseman said.