The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has been around for over 100 years and serves over four million students across the nation. Vermillion is now part of this nationwide group with the opening of their local club chapter.
Principal of Jolley Elementary School Samuel Jacobs said in an email interview with The Volante, the club’s purpose is to give community youth a safe place after school and provide specialized programming to give them different opportunities.
“Students participate in games, homework help, arts and crafts and exercise. There is an after-school homework and tutoring program at the middle school that is run through the Boys and Girls Club,” Jacobs said.
Students involved in the Boys and Girls Club of America have a higher expectancy to graduate from high school compared to the national 86 percent average, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. According to the Boys and Girls Club of America youth outcome data, 97 percent of Club teens expect to graduate from high school and 80 percent have submitted an application to a post-secondary education.
Currently, the Club in Vermillion serves students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. Jacobs said the tutoring program at the middle school serves students in sixth through eighth grade.
“Our goal is to extend the tutoring program to the high school and other grade levels at some point,” James said. “I hope students are given a safe place to be after school as well as access to opportunities and resources they normally wouldn’t get in other places.”
Jacobs said as the school year continues, he believes the programs provided will continue to improve and partnerships with groups from within the community will grow.
As of right now, the school district is still discussing what the Club will look like after the construction of the elementary school next to the middle school. Jacobs said there is a good possibility that the Boys and Girls Club will run out of the new elementary until a facility is built for them.