In the first article on the South Sebastian County Boys and Girls Club in Greenwood, I went and checked out their facility. The first time was unannounced, and I was very impressed at the cleanliness, the enjoyment on the children’s faces enjoying their activities, snacks and the friendliness of the staff and volunteers working with the children.
Since there are no sidewalks around the club facility or the fields, the City of Greenwood visited recently to see what they could do to help. The Board members are also very helpful with all that needs to be done at the club.
There are 350-400 volunteers who coach the baseball, softball, soccer, flag football, basketball, cheerleading. There are also professional umpires and referees who are paid for the services they provide. The club also provide free softball clinics, first one held this year.
Kenny did mention another thing that was good to hear. Parents can apply for a scholarship for their child to help offset the fees. There has not been and will not be any child turned away from care. Twenty percent of the children are sponsored by a scholarship. Free snacks for all after-school children.
In August, the club will be providing a “before-school” care program for the children (starting at 6 am) to help parents that must be at work before they can drop their kids at the school. Deadline for signing up is May 17 for enrollment for both before and after-school care for 2019-2020, so you had better hurry. There will not be a summer school program this year.
The Greenwood Boys and Girls Club has been at the same location for at least 34 years. There are 22 T-ball teams, with lots of kids still playing. Travel baseball and basketball has produced a decline in the Boys and Girls Clubs in the area. The 11-12 year old kids still practice there, but do not play there, they just travel to play. It is a lot more expensive for the parents to do that and it has hurt all of the clubs in the state, but that is what they have chosen to help their children excel in their sport.
Upon walking into the facility the second time, there were children in the gymnasium playing. This was not just random, unorganized play. There are skilled high school students and young adults volunteering their time to teach these children sports skills and team play. You can see they are having fun. There were others eating their snacks and before I left, the kids were preparing to work on arts, crafts, some getting help with homework and some watching a kid-friendly movie.
In the next article, you will hear about all that’s been done and what you can do to help them provide better facilities and grounds by getting involved personally.
As someone who did not know much about the club, I can now honestly say that their care for your children is top-notch even with the decline in financial resources. Of course, your help is still needed to help them provide these services to our children and grandchildren.