Boys and Girls Club cuts hours

Big Bend’s Boys and Girls Club located at R. Frank Nims Middle School has decided to cut down on hours to save money.

The lack of membership during the last hour of open time is what prompted this decision.

Kacey Dennis, who is the area director said it was best to close early because of the amount of children in the last hour.  

Our member numbers dropped during the 6:30-7 [p.m.] hour,” he said. “So it was best that we close earlier instead of having staff members present for a few youth during this time period.”

The club usually closes at 7 p.m., parents complained when they heard of the change and are thinking of taking their kids elsewhere.

Lakeitha Washington, a parent who works from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. is disappointed that the time has changed and has to find another afterschool program for her child.

“The Boys and Girls Club was a great way for my daughter to get involved with extracurricular activities and help with academics but now I am going to have to find something that ends later so that I can pick her up.”

Parents are concerned about pick up time as well as the academics offered at the club.

Dennis believes that the changes will not affect the kids or the parents in any way.  

“This will not affect the children with their academics, power hour is the first thing we have our youth complete after snack. Power hour is homework help time. We also track students progress using report cards, tutoring and extra services are provided to youth with below average grades.”

Nadeje Pierre, the club coordinator has been trying to raise the number count at the club since the beginning of the summer. She began gaining numbers when she revamped the program by added extracurricular activities like dance line, step team, pep squad, and a mentorship program.

She started off with 10 students and now she has 45. She wants to get the membership up to 60 but the small portable working conditions are a hindrance.

Pierre is working with Principal Desmond Cole to make arrangements to use different classrooms for space.

Pierre said, “my working relationship is excellent with Mr. Cole and I am in the process of asking for another classroom for the kids to work out of.”

The BGC administration firmly believes that there ongoing field trips throughout the year, college tours, extracurricular activities and heavy tutoring program will keep the students and parents a part of the R. Frank Nims Big Bend BGC family.