Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan opens 10th site at Northview Elementary

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Members of the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan, members of the community and students and faculty from Northview Elementary School celebrated the newest addition to the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.

A survey was conducted in the spring to determine whether Northview Elementary could operate and fund before- and after-school programs for their students. According to the club’s website, there was an overwhelming response and desire for assistance. The Board of Directors at the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan then voted to add Northview as their 10th site.

“I think it shows just a continued increase in the need for youth in our community who need a safe, positive place after school,” said Trent Jones, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan. “For us personally, it just really goes along with our mission and the heart of what we do.”

Cleion Morton, principal of Northview Elementary, said she is thrilled with the new program and excited that her students will have a safe place to develop their social and academic skills outside the classroom.

“It’s a really neat way to fill those after school hours, especially when kids might go home to an empty house,” Morton said. “We’re excited that it’s a positive learning environment for them, and we’re delighted to work with Boys and Girls Club.”

The program serves nearly 2,500 youth members each year and averages around 970 students each day through before- and after-school programs.

Olivia Redelsheimer, site coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club at Northview Elementary, said she looks forward to the opportunities the club’s involvement may provide students and their families.

“It’s teaching them not only to listen to their peers, but also to listen to adults, and it’s also giving them a different outlet,” Redelsheimer said. “A lot of the time, kids will just go home and sit on the couch and watch TV or play computer games or video games, but this is getting them out of their comfort zone and allowing them access to do different activities that they normally wouldn’t get to do if they were just sitting at home.”

Morton said families are relieved Northview has been added to the program because it will give their children a safe place to spend time with friends and enhance their academic skills at the same time.

“Our parents really care about their kids, but many of them don’t have opportunities for a safe, positive environment after school because they are working a job or sometimes multiple jobs,” Morton said. “So this provides a very safe, positive learning environment for them and also provides some physical fitness, social interaction, and it’s just a great opportunity for them to help develop as young people.”

Redelsheimer said she has already noticed the positive effects of this new addition to the school and is excited for what the future holds for both Northview and the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan.

“Northview has been super great as the school,” Redelsheimer said. “I think that having this program has been really beneficial, and we’re just really happy to be here.”

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