Central High School junior Cimone Hamiter describes the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County as a “positive place to be.”


Central High School junior Cimone Hamiter describes the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County as a “positive place to be.”

Hamiter and B&GC Executive Director Jason Rolett gave a glowing report on the status of the organization at Wednesday’s noon session of the Helena-West Helena Kiwanis Club. According to Rolett, despite the gloomy economic situation in the Delta, H-WH residents have “steadfastly supported the club’s mission of providing a safe, positive place for our young people.”

Rolett stressed that the investment is paying off.

According to Rolett, daily attendance at the Boys & Girls Club has increased by more than 10 percent in the past two years. Club members receiving homework help during Power Hour is up more than 40 percent.

The Boys & Girls Club has also experienced increases in the Kids Café and the Jr. Grizzlies Basketball League. There has been a 20 percent increase in the Kids Café where members receive healthy snacks. Participation in the Grizzlies basketball league, said Rolett, is up more than 130 percent with an increasing number of players coming from outside Helena-West Helena. This year, the BG&C is expanding its sports program to include volleyball.

“A record number of members are participating in a host of other activities including our summer reading program and our poetry program,” said Rolett.

Rolett added that community support is making a difference.

“Lt. Governor Mark Darr praised our program during his last visit to Helena-West Helena,” commented Rolett. “We also got excellent reviews from a representative from Congressman Rick Crawford’s office. Both said our club was the best they had visited. Crawford’s rep. said the Phillips County Boys & Girls Club stood head and shoulders above any other BG&C in his district. He said he would insist that Congressman Crawford pay a visit.”

Hamiter told of her positive experiences with the club. She said that she had learned to save her money for college and that the club helped keep the kids off the streets and off drugs.

“I have met people that I otherwise would have never gotten to meet,” said Hamiter. “It’s a positive place to be.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summer.  When school is in session, the doors are open from the time school is out in the afternoon until various times in the evening, depending on the activities that particular day.

Roland added that the local B&GC has increased weekend activities including Razorback sporting events, Grizzlies basketball games as guests of the Grizzles, to the zoo and other educational places.

“If we get a chance to take the kids somewhere we do,” said Rolett.

The average daily attendance at the club is 171 and membership now stands at 604.