The Boys and Girls Club of Ardmore is now officially open for the school year. The after-school program began on Monday in a new location at Broadlawn Village near Charles Evans Elementary, and now the organization is focusing on growing the number of students enrolled in the program.
Unit Director, Valisa Booker, said the first day open for the program drew in 18 students while the second day had 15. She said the main issue with participation is currently a lack of transportation, but that problem should be handled next week when they get a transportation program in place.
“Our enrollment applications are at 157, but most of our kids from the summer program haven’t come back because of transportation needs,” Booker said. “Most of the students we have right now are from Lincoln and the parents are dropping them off. But we do have two coming over from Charles Evans.”
She said they are encouraging parents from Charles Evans to enroll their children because of the convenient location. Every afternoon a school employee walks the children halfway over and are met by a Boys and Girls Club instructor to walk the children the rest of the way.
“Any of the kids at Charles Evans are more than welcome to come on over and join us,” Booker said.
Booker started working for Boys and Girls Club in January, and she is looking forward to getting the program started for the new school year.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to run our program more effectively,” Booker said. “Since we’re in our own building I think everything will run a bit smoother and be more effective for the children. I’m just glad we have a permanent setting and that these kids know they have a place to go. We help give these kids the life skills they need, and we can just give them a little something extra then we’ve done our jobs.”
She said while the organization is still busy getting all of its furniture and materials into place, they are still looking tor a pool table because the children particularly enjoy playing pool after school. They are also looking for some additional folding tables and chairs.
The Boys and Girls Club is open daily after school from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and costs $10 per child per week, but scholarship opportunities are available based on need. Parents interested in getting their children into the program can contact the Boys and Girls Club at www.facebook.com/bcgwilson.ardmore or they can apply in person at 100 Broadlawn weekdays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.