Kids club to keep doors open

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Despite a lack of funding, the local Boys and Girls Club has found a way to stay open during the summer months.

“ ‘Closing was not an option, the board of directors said,’ ” relayed Pamela Nealey, the chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties.

Nealey and the club board of directors met on Wednesday to brainstorm ways to keep the club open for the summer. The worst-case scenario for longevity of the club would have been to turn away children during the summer and continue the after school program in August.

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The answer to lack of funding came in employee cutbacks, Nealey said.

“Right now, we will have two program staff and myself,” Nealey said. “For every 20 children that come in, we’ll hire or bring back someone.”

Currently, there are about 20 students enrolled in the club’s summer program that includes two hours of academic study time, athletic activities, lunch, snacks and creative learning programs.

Nealey said the group will meet again on Friday to work on innovative fund-raising ideas to bridge the gap between now and when promised grant money begins to come in.

“We aren’t here to close clubs, we are here to build clubs,” Nealey said. “The parents need us during the summer. The kids need us.”