HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — With the goal of providing a plethora of services for kids in Madison County, the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center is an organization dedicated to the children of the community.

Through after-school programs, the organization serves students with limited opportunities from less fortunate backgrounds.

Children in grades kindergarten through eighth are provided a number of services including meals, tutoring, and bible study all of which are free of charge.

Nancy Vallejo says attending the learning center has had a positive influence on her performance in the classroom.

“It’s improved my grades a lot ever since I came here I improved a lot,” Vallejo said.

Volunteers prioritize helping the students in other areas as well says the learning center’s academic coordinator Ray Allister.

“Trying to make sure that our students develop as individuals too it’s not just the academics so much of what we do is to make sure they’re developing their character as good people,” Allister told News 19.

It all began with a vision from Arthur Leslie who started the organization in 2005.

After growing up without guidance during his after-school time, Leslie was inspired to provide disadvantaged children with what he didn’t have.

Unexpectedly, Art Leslie passed away in 2019. However, his legacy lives on through the many lives that were influenced by his vision.

“There are people who come here today still whose lives have been changed because of his influence, his impact, and his faithfulness,” Allister said.

With a mission to grow students into Christ-like, lifelong learners, and responsible citizens, the after-school programs are offered to any student in North Alabama who wishes to attend.