Residents of Franklin County came out for a little fish fry to celebrate having three new Boys and Girls Club sites in Carrabelle, East Point and Apalachicola.
"During the school year, we bring homework help, technology enrichment, arts and crafts, and recreation to kids who would have to go home at 2:30 p.m. to an empty house,” explains Carl Lester of Apalachicola Boys and Girls Club.
The clubs will operate out of existing buildings and thanks to a grant from the Florida Department of Education; similar programs are in place in Jefferson and Leon counties.
"In Franklin County, there's not a lot for the kids to do here. And with the Boys and Girls Club coming here, it gives them a chance to have somewhere to go,” shares parent/volunteer Carla Bankston.
The clubs will run through the summer and throughout the school year.
One Club official says the new clubs will create long lasting memories for kids who take part in the various programs they offer.
"I think they'll miss the boating and fishing, and most possibly of all the people that work in the clubs. Because these people care about the kids, and you can't replace them with any amount of money,” adds Dee Shepherd of Boys and Girls Club in Franklin County.
For the past 12 years, the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend has provided daily programs and services to more than 2,000 kids and youth.
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History of the Boys and Girls Club of America
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Conn.
- In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations.
- In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.
- In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.
- To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 1990.
What Does the Organization Do?
- A safe place to learn and grow
- Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals
- Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences
- Hope and opportunity
For more information visit your local Boys and Girls Club, or visit their Web site: http://www.bgca.org
Source: (http://www.bgca.org) Boys and Girls Club of America Web site contributed to this report.