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How this woman plans to make spring break accessible for all in Petersburg

Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 13, 2023

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Jannell Sinclair has a vision for the Petersburg Sports Complex. She runs the non-profit Hebron VA Inc. and understands well the financial pressures of many parents living in Petersburg.

"We realize that a lot of parents can't afford to take their kids anywhere for spring break or take them on an outing or vacation," Sinclair said.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, 36.7% of children and 22.6% of adults in Virginia live in poverty.

So on April 7, Sinclair is creating an event. She says the Tri-City Family festival, which will encompass the entire sports complex, will be free to attendees.

"We're going to have plenty of tents and plenty of inflatables," Sinclair said. "We want to teach our children to get from behind the keyboards and Tik Tok and Instagram, Facebook and to be able to understand what real fun is outside."

The fun at the event won't only be aimed at young children.

"Especially with the youth violence, we want them to understand that you do not have to pick up a gun and think that is fun," Sinclair said. "We find if parents engage with the children in a fun environment like this that it strengthens the family."

Hebron has also teamed up with Petersburg Area Transit to get parents and children to and from the event for free.

Part of the event will be aimed at signing up young people for a summer program.

"It is one Saturday per month in which you meet at 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. so that we can have kids off the streets on a Saturday night where we find most of the time, they are engaged in unhealthy activities," Sinclair said.

The event will get underway at noon on April 7.

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