Priceville Boys and Girls Club holds ribbon cutting
A ribbon cutting held Tues., Sept. 22, formally opened a new Boys and Girls Club in Priceville.
Mayor Melvin Duran and David Varner, chief professional officer for boys and girls clubs in Morgan County, shared the honor of cutting the ribbon. Joining them were over 50 town officials and employees, club directors, volunteers and members and State Senator Arthur Orr.
The clubhouse and an adjacent game building opened last June and conducted a summer session for boys and girls aged five to 18. The club is capable of accommodating 50 members and currently has a membership of 25.
“It’s amazing to see them study and learn and play and have fun in a setting like this,” said club director Konnye Long. “They do their homework for an hour and have the assistance of volunteer tutors. Then they are free to play games and enjoy the company of each other.
A grassy area on the grounds is suitable for football and other outdoor activities and the town park in nearby. Currently under construction are tennis and basketball courts.
Clubhouse hours are 2:30 to 6:30 Monday through Friday. A $25 per child membership fee is charged to offset the cost of snacks and other supplies.
A “Power Hour” system is in place to encourage club members to practice good study and behavior habits.
“Play money is awarded for doing good things and deducted for doing bad things,” Long pointed out. “The goal is for members to accumulate $100,000 during the school year. If they do that, they will be recognized with a pizza party or some other reward. We currently stand at $7,500.”
“We started the library here, and after several years outgrew it,” said Duran. “After we moved the library, David (Varner) inquired about the possibility of using it for a boys and girls club. We discussed it and decided a boys and girls club was needed. It has been a good partnership.”
“It’s been a blessing to have Priceville come forward and let us use the building, Varner said. We now have six boys and girls clubs operating in Morgan County.
“It’s nice to have a place like this to go after school,” said Braxton Bowen, a fifth grader. “We get to snack, do our homework and have fun playing games. If we do good, we win awards.”
“It’s wonderful to have a safe place where kids can go while their parents are working, “ said Erin Lakken. “They get their homework in and that’s one less thing I have to worry about before bedtime.”
“I help fund Boys and Girls Clubs through the state budget and I hope to see it continue,” Senator Orr stated. “It’s very encouraging to see a boys and girls club in Priceville. “Your elected officials are to be commended for supporting such a project.