06/30/10 — Boys & Girls Club offers much for youth to do over summer

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Boys & Girls Club offers much for youth to do over summer

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 30, 2010 1:46 PM

The Boys & Girls Club has packed the summer with activities for youth in the county, and at a very reasonable price, says Jill Oaks, outreach coordinator.

"For only a $10 membership, we provide a safe, positive place to learn and grow, build character, promote hope and give opportunity," she said.

The membership covers the weekday program, which runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and includes lunch.

There is also an early bird program for working parents who need to drop off a child earlier, she said. To accommodate them, the club on Royall Avenue opens at 6:45 a.m. Breakfast is also provided. Cost for that is an additional $25 registration fee and $35 each week per child.

While there are many fun things planned during the summer months -- swimming, bowling, movies, trips to Kings Dominion and Adventure Landing -- the day-to-day program is fairly structured, Ms. Oaks said.

Each hour, youth rotate between four main areas at the site -- game room, arts and crafts, learning center and gym.

The program also incorporates academics and physical fitness into the mix, as well as character education.

A learning lab, focusing on science, math, writing and reading, starts next week to keep pace in those areas while school is not in session.

The club will also introduce a new option this summer, "Wanna Play?" for youths 6- to 12-years-old, incorporating softball skills, the importance of physical activity and nutrition.

Most of the summer effort is under the umbrella of "SMART Moves" -- Skills Mastery and Resistance Training, Ms. Oaks said. It addresses such problems as drug and alcohol use and preventing premature sexual activity.

Street Smart, for ages 10 to 13, deals with gangs and how to avoid peer influence in that area.

Smart Girl, for girls 6 to 18, discusses their changing bodies and practicing responsible behavior

Similar programs, for adolescents and teens, are Start Smart and Stay Smart, designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles.

For more information on any of the summer programs, call 735-2358.