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Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club is safe haven for students

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club area director Moses Fox III, at left, plays a game of Air Hockey with students in the club, an after-school program for Union County Public Schools students that is housed at Monroe Middle.

Union County Public Schools has partnered with The Salvation Army and area businesses to create an afterschool program, housed at Monroe Middle School, that offers academic assistance and a safe haven for kids after the school bell rings.

“We’re very happy that Monroe Middle School was chosen as a site to house the Boys and Girls Club,” said Monroe Middle principal Dr. Mike Harvey. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for not only our students, but also future students from our feeder schools.”

Walter Bickett Elementary, Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts and East Elementary are some of the feeder schools for Monroe Middle. Harvey said this will also give those students and their parents the opportunity to get to know Monroe Middle before they begin attending.

The fee for students is $5 per year. The goal is to keep the cost as low as possible in order to serve all families.

Harvey said he attended a Boys and Girls Club as a child in New York. “I know the benefits this program has for students here at our school,” he said. “That’s where I learned to play basketball, and I went on to play college basketball. It’s bringing back a lot of fond memories. It was a lot of fun.”

The club’s doors opened officially on Jan. 17, 2011, with 24 students signed up to attend. On the third day, however, that number had already doubled. Club organizers held a grand opening Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

“The importance of the club is twofold,” said the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club area director Moses Fox III. “We’re providing not just a safe place for kids, but we’re making sure they have sufficient homework time and are getting the assistance they need in a loving and caring environment.”

Students start their day with a snack, and then go into “Power Hour” during which students do homework and get assistance from staff. After Power Hour, students break into groups that will do a variety of activities including arts and learning about eating healthy. There will also be plenty of physical activities for students.

When school is in session, the club is open from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. When school is not in session, such as summer months, it’s open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The Boys and Girls Club is open to all feeders schools in the Monroe Cluster and East Union Middle School, as well. Another club is slated for the Marshville/Wingate area this coming August, with a third club on the planning table for the Sun Valley area in August 2013.

To view the club's calendar, click here.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jan 26, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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