Amanda Childers, director of the after-school program, said, “We believe there is a need here in the community. We found out that there are around 70 children who need after-school care so we are excited to get started next week.”
The program will run Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. at 118 E. George St., Adairsville. The cost per child is $10 a week.
“We have a gym where students can play, a chapel where they can do homework, and we will have tutoring available as well,” Childers said. “The kids will have access to arts and craft projects, computers, a Wii, an Xbox and a snack.
“Over the last few years, I have developed a passion to see kids find what they truly enjoy and who they are. We don’t want just an after-school program but we are passionate about providing them with what they need.”
Currently, the program does not have participants signed up, but Childers believes once school begins the program will increase. Due to an agreement with the Bartow County School System, the school buses will deliver up to 15 children to the community center daily.
Each after-school program volunteer has undergone a background check and completed a safety program through the Foursquare Church.
“We have 10 volunteers and our policy dictates we can have seven to 10 children per volunteer so we are able to handle up to about 70 children,” Childers said.
For the past seven years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County has provided after-school programs to the children of Adairsville at 127 King St. They service 80 to 100 kids between the ages of six and 18 during the school year.
Membership to the Boys & Girls Clubs is $25 per year, per child and the organization offers scholarships for those who show financial need.
Gordon Gilley, chief professional officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs not only meets needs and children’s interests but it is crucial for a time when children are most vulnerable. Most all of our kids are at risk and the Boys & Girls Clubs provides options other than negative behavior.”
During the school year, the operational times are immediately following school until 7 p.m.
Gilley said, “Ninety-four to 97 percent of Boys & Girls Club members graduate compared to the statewide average of 70 percent. We strive to be a well-rounded program offering things like arts and crafts and classes on life skills, like money matters. For most of our kids, the club is the only viable service option they have.
“We are tremendously grateful to Georgia Power for the temporary facility they have provided. However, our future plans include either building or renovating a facility so we can have a permanent home. We would like to grow our capacity so that we can help more kids more often.”