TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend now has 1,200 kids enrolled in its after school program. They're seeing the biggest increase in middle and high school students than their other age groups.
They've seen an increase in enrollment due to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted and new funding through community partners. Over the summer, the Children's Service Council of Leon County awarded over $52,000 to help enroll 40 new kids in their clubs.
Kacy Dennis said having kids in the clubs after school keeps them from being involved in things they shouldn't be. "Having our doors open during those key hours of the day really helps keep kids out of trouble and it gives parents a good sense of mind that their kids are in a safe environment after school," said Dennis.
Students ages 6 through 18 come to the clubs everyday after school. They work on homework for about an hour before moving on to fun activities like dance team or games.
Nadeje Pierre is the Leon County Area Director. She said parents are most excited about their kids getting extra help outside of the classroom.
"In classrooms ratios are like 1 to 25 and when they come to the club we're able to seek out those students who need that more personalized help. So whether it be a staff, volunteer, or mentors we offer that for the kids to be able to get that 1 on 1 attention that they needed," said Pierre.
At their Springfield location near, Riley Elementary they have around 45 kids enrolled. 14-year-old Laterricka Hodge has been coming to the club since she was 5-years-old. She's grateful to have the extra help outside of school. "The Boys & Girls Club has helped me in many ways because it hasn't always been easy with school work and stuff and they help me," said Hodge.
Students also participate in the leadership and development program and learn about having a healthy lifestyle.
Enrollment for the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend after school programs is still open. If you want to sign up your child, you can do it online or by phone.