The Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County plans to reopen to a limited number of members for the upcoming summer session beginning Monday, June 8.
Attendance will be prioritized for current members and families who utilized services with the greatest frequency throughout the 2019/2020 academic year. Qualifying families will be contacted directly by Club staff between now and the end of the month.
“We’ve missed our members so much and plan to resume programming at full capacity as soon as we can. Meanwhile, the safety of our families, staff and community isparamount,” explained Boys & Girls Club executive director, Julia Hockenberry.
The decision around how to operate is based on guidance from state and local health officials and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In order to comply with recommended guidelines, the Club has limited daily capacity and had to ensure that the same cohorts of youth attend programs daily. Other modifications include daily health screenings, more restrictive use of campus space and revised hours of operation to allow for deep cleaning and disinfection.
While the Club will be serving fewer members this summer, programs will cater to the unique needs of young people, following quarantine. “Kids in our community really need us right now,” Hockenberry remarked. “That’s why our programs will focus on social emotional learning, physical wellness and mitigating summer learning loss. We want to help build resiliency and recovery in our young people – body, mind and spirit.”
Club officials stress that summer operations this year remain contingent on community health and may be reduced or temporarily suspended, as circumstances evolve. “If our community experiences a spike in cases, for example, membership may go down or we may be forced to temporarily close,” Hockenberry continued. “Additional future capacity will hinge on the health of the community and the directives of federal, state and local health officials.”
Last year, the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County served over 1,500 youth in programs that focus on school success, career readiness, health and fitness and positive personal decision making. An all-inclusive annual membership costs just $5 per child, per year. This year the Club was anticipating its most robust summer ever, following the 2019 expansion of its downtown Hendersonville campus. However, temporary limitations will delay this plan.
“The Club is an important partner for hundreds of local families who need to be able towork. Right now we know the need for quality support is more acute than ever, and it’s our intention to safely serve as many young people as possible,” noted Nicola Barksdale, president of the Club’s board of directors. “We appreciate patience and understanding as we grow into this new, and hopefully temporary, operating model,” she said.
Visit bgchendersonco.org for additional information.