There was plenty of action at the Wellington Boys and Girls Club on a warm and windy Tuesday afternoon in late March. The playground was filled with kids using the equipment and inventing games of their own. Inside, kids in the art room were getting creative, Assistant Teresa Cagno was getting ready to serve dinner in the kitchen area, and the game room was at capacity. Foosball and all sorts of games were getting a workout. It was a bit more quiet in the tech room where computers are available for homework and other educational pursuits.
Wellington Unit Director Rob Klein gathered all the kids in the playground area for a few announcements, including an upcoming report card party to celebrate academic accomplishments.
Director of Development and Marketing Director for Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County Jenna Riedi was joined by her assistant, 8-year-old Asha Garner, a second grader at Eyestone, as several visitors were taken on a tour of the building and grounds in honor of Boys and Girls Clubs Week across the country.
Wellington Boys and Girls Club at 3815 W. Harrison St. is approaching its capacity of 60. It is open from 2:30 to 7 p.m. during the school year and provides a safe place and an environment that helps young people ages 6 through 18 to develop to their full potential. The club is open full days during school holidays and in the summer. Breakfast, lunch and a snack are served during the summer and an after school snack and dinner are served during the school year.
At clubs across the country, trained youth development professionals and dedicated volunteers offer programs to help youth achieve academic success, develop a healthy lifestyle and become a positive influence on their community.
Core program areas include the arts, character and leadership development, education, technology and career development, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation. Membership is $10 a year.
A fourth of Wellington club members are from single-parent families and 70 percent are on free or reduced lunch. Studies have shown that regular attendance at the club increases the likelihood of high school graduation and college attendance.
Membership is open to all. The club is so popular that plans are afoot for a brand new, larger building. Land near Eyestone Elementary School has been donated. Very soon, a feasibility study will indicate when a capital campaign will be launched prior to construction.