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Hopkins County firefighter Matt Brown helps Central Baptist Church Kids Central kindergarten students Jacob Pierce (far left) and Campbell Cody try on his gear Thursday during a tour of the new fire station.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

'Yes I Can' makes summer debut

Boys & Girls Club aims high for kids' self-esteem

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

May 16, 2008 - Boys & Girls Club of Hopkins County will expand upon its motto this summer. The club strives to be a "positive place for kids," and this summer will further that goal with activities designed to improve their self-image.

Registration for "Yes I Can: Achieving Against the Odds" is currently underway and will continue through May 23 at the main location inside the old Houston Elementary School, located at 411 college St.

While B&GC is free during the school year, a weekly $25 fee per child paid in advance will be requested for participation in the summer program. The fees help offset the costs of a bevy of activities and supplies. Students will also be required to be Boys & Girls Club members, a $10 annual fee, before they can enroll in the summer program.

Parents must get their child's registration form filled out and turned in by June 5, the last day of classes for Sulphur Springs students. The first week's fees must be paid, and the child should be current on B&G Club membership by June 5.

As a special incentive to get the summer fees in early, the B&GC is offering a special discount for parents paying the full amount by June 5. While a weekly fee would amount to $225 per child for the summer, those paying in full by the June 5 registration deadline get a $25 discount, or essentially a free week. The same applies for families with more than one child. Fees paid in full by the June 5 deadline for families registering two children for the summer program would be $400 as opposed to an overall $450 charge if the amount if paid by the week, or $600 as opposed to $675 for three kids, etc..., according to the B&GC director.

The program is open to school age youth through middle school.

Parents need not worry about their child's lunch needs as they will participate in the free summer lunch program for children being conducted the first half of the summer at Lamar Elementary, and the second part of the summer the Boys & Girls Club will furnish the kids with a sack lunch. Parents with picky children can opt to send a sack lunch with their child daily or on a day the school menu is not to the child's liking.

The summer session begins June 9, picking up the week immediately following Sulphur Springs schools dismissal of classes for the year. The program will last nine weeks, with the Boys & Girls Club closed Aug. 11-22, the two weeks prior to school starting, to allow one week for ample staff training and another for preparation for the 20089-2009 calendar year. The program will resume for the new year Aug. 25, the day classes being for the new school year in Sulphur Springs. The B&GC will open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Boys & Girls Club will be closed on Friday, June 6, to students. However, parents will be asked to attend one of three orientation sessions being planned that day.

Parents will sign permission slips permitting their children to participate in scheduled activities, which require the students to be transported by bus to activities. The cost of these daily and weekly activities locally is included in the cost.

Some of the activities the club hopes to offer include rap, rhythm, writing; GoGirlGo; sports tournaments; club tech; Animate Your World and twirling; Youth for Unity; possibly dance and laser tag. Some trips planned include bowling, skating, swimming at City Pool, movie matinee, water park, medieval times.

B&GC officials are also currently working with staff at three other locales for three major field trips. If those are scheduled, each child will be asked to pay a fee to participate. More specifics about that and the summer B&GC program will be given during the orientation session.

Middle school age students Monday-Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. will be bused to the middle school to participate in the SPARKS program, offered through a partnership with Sulphur Springs Independent School District. More information about that also will be provided during the parent orientation session.

Applications from high school students interested in being junior staff members who will help with activities and kids at the club are also being accepted at the club.

Fore more information about the Boys & Girls Club Summer Program, call 903-438-8404. Registration forms and junior staff applications are available and should be returned to the B&GC, located at 411 College St. inside the old Houston Elementary School.

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