Attendance at the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County has increased all seven years of its existence here and it continues to grow according to Jason Rolett, director of the local club. Rolett gave an annual operating report of the B&GC to a roomful of Kiwanians at last Wednesday's noon luncheon meeting.
Attendance at the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County has increased all seven years of its existence here and it continues to grow according to Jason Rolett, director of the local club. Rolett gave an annual operating report of the B&GC to a roomful of Kiwanians at last Wednesday's noon luncheon meeting. “In the past seven years, the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County has emerged as a leader in healthy youth development in Phillips County,” stated Rolett. “Thanks to the generous support of this community, the Club has recorded seven straight years of growth and program success.” To date B&GC serves more than 700 members, having increased from 707 in 2011 to 726 in 2012. An average of 208 members participate in club activities on a daily basis, continued Rolett. The numbers have reached as high as 240. Rolett noted that the number of programs available for B&GC members is also increasing. “We now have 20 programs for club participants,” commented Rolett. “This includes 4-H robotics and the KIPP science program. Our programs stress academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.” For club members interested in science and engineering, Conoco-Phillips has made a scholarship available to two candidates from the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County. The scholarship, said Rolett, is for $3,000 per semester. Rolett proudly announced that 70 alumni of the BG&C are presently attending such colleges as Arkansas State University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, Stetson University, Tennessee State University, the university of Arkansas at Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Tennessee at Martin and Vanderbilt University. According to Rolett, several of those attending college return to the Club during the summer and work as program staff and mentors. “After seven years we are starting to see some results, the fruits of our labors sort to speak,” said Rolett. “We have watched many of these youngsters grow up right in front of our eyes.” Rolett also announced the expansion of the club's basketball league. A league for third graders has been added. Efforts to build a brand new baseball field are still ongoing. The club has secured between $380,000 and $400, 000 for the project but about $700,000 is needed to secure a matching grant from the Cal Ripken Foundation. “We continue to push forward,” continued Rolett. Financially, says Rolett, the BG&C is in good shape for a non-profit organization. The club has 14 part-time employees and four full-time staff members. During the school year, the club is open 3 to 7:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the summers.