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B&G club geared up for summer; big changes for fall

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Greg Parker, director of the Bandera County Boys and Girls Club, says the organization is ready to serve its young clients with plenty of activities for the summer.

The Bandera facility, and the Lakehills club, which meets at Hill Country Elementary, will be open from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, June 17.

"We're planning some field trips to movies and museums," said Parker. The trips are free to the kids, and the club will welcome donations to help defray expenses for bus transportation.

Also on schedule will be plenty of crafts activities, sports and swimming.

Members will be served breakfast and lunch and the club is seeking donations to provide afternoon snacks.

The club is also participating in the school summer reading program, said Parker. "We'll have iPads at the club June 19 from 9-10 am, July 1 from 9-10, July 18 from 3:30-4:30 pm and July 30 from 3:30-4:30 pm so the kids can take their AR tests."

More information about BISD's summer reading program, "Take the Plunge, Bulldogs!" can be found at www.banderaisd.net.

One of Parker's priorities when taking on the director's position on April 1, was to find more things for Bandera's teens to do. He has already taken steps in that direction.

A new teen director, Mike Pimpinella, will come on board this week to develop programs specifically aimed at teenagers.

Parker has also worked with the Bandera ISD to move club activities for 6-year-olds to fifth graders to Alkek Elementary in the Fall. "This will help us separate the older and younger kids so that we can better target the different age groups," said Parker. The Margaret Alkek pavilion at 715 Maple Street at the river will then be transformed into a teen center. "We had 18 teenagers at the club yesterday," said Parker. "They need their own space."

Moving the younger children to Alkek will also allow the Boys & Girls Club to more easily align their Power Hour activities with school goals. "Regina Howell, BISD superintendent, and Scott Tipton, Alkek principal, have really been working with us," said Parker. Power Hour combines physical activities with academic goals.

Membership in Boys & Girls Club costs just $10 per child. For more information, call the club at 796-8109.

Pictured: Boys and Girls Club members will be able to get a head start on their AR reading requirements by participating in the Bandera ISD's summer reading program. Opportunities to take AR tests have been scheduled for four days during the summer at the club.