GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The sounds of children at play bounced off the walls at the Gaston Point community center gym late Friday morning.
Leaders of the seven-week summer camp say positive programs are sorely needed, given recent tragic headlines across America.
"It's very disturbing to me, and we've got to do a better job in solving problems within our communities," said manager, Sidney Rushing. "It starts right here with the people in the communities."
Antoinette Gates finds hope in helping mold the minds of children. Doing so gives her a welcome break from the stark realities of the outside world gone wrong.
"It has been a frightful week for America," said Gates.
Though concerned for our country, she is not afraid. Prayer and meditation help Gates cope with what she cannot control.
"I think it's sad that people can't relate to each other and get along well with each other," added Gates.
Summer camp kids are learning the power of communication, and recently penned letters to President Obama and the First Lady.
In discussing possible solutions to what's happening in the world today, both Rushing and Gates discussed better communication between everyone.
"Have a conversation about race and the problems they feel they have with the police. It would be a better understanding and communities would thrive," said Gates.
"And start loving each other. Caring about each other. That's the most important ingredient that I can think of," added Rushing.
The Gaston Point summer camp was launched following Hurricane Katrina. It has been a popular program since then, supported by the city, along with area churches and businesses.