OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Just about every school district across the Kansas City metropolitan area has started the 2021-2022 school year in person, which means it’s time for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City to return to their programming built on youth development.
Last year, when schools spent months in virtual learning, Boys and Girls Clubs pivoted, turning their locations into learning labs where students could get assistance and reliable internet connection while working on their computers.
“We were meeting a very important need in the community. We were honored to do that,” explained Dr. Dred Scott, the president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. “I’m a former teacher and I know the best place for learning is in the classroom and so I’m so pleased and excited about kids being able to return to school in person this year, that allows us to focus in on what we do best, and that’s all those wraparound and support activities.”
Those support activities focus on four key pillars: education/academic support, healthy lifestyle, leadership/public speaking and technology.
The clubs thrive during after-school programming where students spend hours learning lessons they don’t get in school classrooms instead of sitting at home while their parents are at work after school.
“We get their kids engaged in positive activities and situations they may normally not face if they’re just at home and in the neighborhoods,” Scott explained. “Opportunities to cooperate, to stretch themselves from a leadership perspective, you name it, we do it to support our kids.”
Boys and Girls Clubs also offer before-school programs which provide a safe space during the gap when parents leave for work before school begins.
Clubs on both sides of the state line are accepting new students ages five to 18. Visit the organization’s website or call 816-361-3600 for more information on how to enroll.