WILSON — The local Boys and Girls Club is changing its name and broadening its reach.
The Club of Wilson and Ardmore will now be the Club of Carter County, a change approved by the club's board of directors in January.
Since 1998, the club has served over 5,000 youth through the Hardy House and Teen Town in Wilson and the Ardmore Tiger Unit located at Ardmore Middle School. The club offers after-school programming, as well as spring and summer break activities.
However, the club's members have come from a number of other schools, including Zaneis, Lone Grove, Healdton and Fox. Club staff will also do special programs at other schools on topics such as youth diabetes.
"The name change reflects the population we serve. We will continue to deliver quality youth development programs in education, character and citizenship, health and life skills, the arts and sports, fitness and recreation," said executive director Misty Sanders.
Club members find the name more inclusive for the three units that make up the club.
"It sounds better because it sounds like the whole county and not one place," said Alec McDonald, Wilson seventh-grader.
Continuing with expanding programs, the club will also be partnering with the HFV Wilson Community Center in Ardmore to provide a teen after-school program.
HFV Wilson Community Center will provide transportation, Kids Café meals, classroom space and use of the gym.
The Boys and Girls Club will provide teen programming in the areas of education, character and citizenship, health and life skills, the arts and sports, fitness and recreation.
"As Misty said, we are very excited about the possibilities this partnership brings to the Ardmore teen community and to all the teens throughout Carter County. Our goals for the teen population are so similar it was just a natural next step for both of our programs," said Kurt Lemley, executive director of the HFV Wilson Center.