Griffin's Boys, Girls Club awaits Henry youths

The Boys and Girls Club of Griffin anticipates enrolling more than 100 area children into its summer camp program, according to Boys and Girls Club of Griffin Executive Director Jennifer Parker.

While there is no Boys and Girls Club of America in Henry County, the Griffin club, created in 1998 as a charter member of the Boys and Girls Club of America, is available to Henry youngsters, Parker said.

"We serve any child that can get to us," Parker said. "During the summer, we do have students from Spalding, Pike, Lamar, and Henry counties."

Parker believes the club serves multiple purposes. She said its programs offer children academic enrichment, and artistic and physical stimulation, within the safe confines of the club's facilities. She said it offers adult-volunteer opportunities as well.

Parker, along with Boys and Girls Club of Griffin volunteers, like Ron Anderson, of McDonough, have been drumming up in-kind support for the club's summer camp program. Anderson began volunteering at the club a few months ago, and has worked in the club's after-chool program.

The club typically has about 100 children enrolled in its summer program, about the same number it serves during its after-school program, Parker said. The club currently has 117 active children in its after-school program.

"For after school, we have certified teachers here from Monday to Thursday (3-7 p.m.), who do individual and group tutoring," she said. "They will also be working in the summer program."

Parker noted that this summer, children will be involved in many of the same activities as they were involved in during the school year, including interactive lessons in digital technology and arts and crafts projects.

The Boys and Girls Club of Griffin is located at 725 Meriwether St., in the Salvation Army of Griffin's building. There is a full-sized gym, and an area for intramural sports.

"We need all of the volunteers we can get," Parker said. "We have volunteer packets here, and we do require background checks. So, children are safe here."

Parker said volunteerism is among the club's essential needs, and that it receives much of its funding and support through Spalding County's Community Service Block Grant program, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the Salvation Army of Griffin, which operates the Boys and Girls Club of Griffin.

"We are a part of two well-respected and well-known names —the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club of America," she continued. "Our goal is to keep to that standard."

The seven-week summer camp program will be held Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m., June 7-July 27. The camp is geared toward children aged, 6-14.

Parker said the cost of summer camp includes a $20 registration fee, and $35 per week. For more information, call (770) 412-6566, extension 16.