Owensboro’s H.L. Neblett Center will host its End of Year Festival for current and former Western Academy scholars Saturday, May 15.

The event will be from noon to 4 p.m. outside the center at 801 W. Fifth St., Owensboro. There will be food by J’s Good Grub and Pinky’s Snow Cones & Snacks and also a variety of fun, games and inflatables.

Olga McKissic, executive director, said Friday that the event will also include an “Amazin’ Race—Western Academy Edition” that will begin at 10 a.m. at Kendall-Perkins Park and end in downtown Owensboro at Smothers Park.

“We are going to pick up clues and give answers as we go to Smothers Park and downtown,” she said.

While it is called a race, it is not about who is the fastest runner, but about learning and working together as a team to come up with the correct answer.

“That is what we have to make sure our scholars understand, this is not a running race,” McKissic said. “It is not the first one who crosses the finish line, it is the team that has the most correct answers are the one that will win.”

The event is meant to be a celebration for current and past students of the Neblett Center’s Western Academy, which will also be registering students for its next session for the 2021-22 academic year during Saturday’s event.

Now entering its third year, the Western Academy is designed for youth African-American and bi-racial boys to solidify their reading and math skills. Originally offering classes for third- through sixth-graders, it expanded to seventh grade last year and will now also offer programming for eighth-grade males.

“If you can get your reading skills down, if you can get your math skills down, then it will help in other classes,” McKissic said.

The festival will also provide an opportunity for parents and prospective students to come down to the Neblett Center to find out more about the program, which begins in October and concludes at the end of the school year.

“We are doing early registration tomorrow,” McKissic said. “ If folks are interested, we encourage them to come down and get some information about Western Academy. Talk to some of the parents, talk to some of our academic coaches.”

Registration will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“Our scholars who are already enrolled will have their spots and we will be filling in where the gaps are,” McKissic said.

For more information about the H.L. Neblett Center’s Western Academy, visit www.hlneblett.org.

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

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