Members of the Boys and Girls Club of Portage steering committee will provide speeches and pamphlets at the event explaining to participants what the club is all about.
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Erika Sween, one of nine steering committee members, said, “I’m really impressed by the level of enthusiasm that all the families have shown so far. Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the club, and I really haven’t heard anything negative about it.”
Sween is a substitute teacher in the Portage Community School District with a master’s degree in educational psychology from University of North Texas and the wife of District Administrator Josh Sween.
“To me, the most important thing about this club is having a safe place for our kids to go after school,” Erika Sween said. “It’s that time of day when kids are excited to get out of classes and be on their own, and sometimes parents just can’t be there for them after school. As a parent, I would really value having those extra minutes before picking up my kids.”
Volunteers have heard from parents who would like to work during those after-school hours but can’t because they don’t have reliable daycare for their children. Sween said the Boys and Girls Club may have adults on site as late as 8 p.m. depending on the programming.
Another big advantage to the club is the extra help students would get from club leaders who aren’t their teachers or parents, Sween said. “Sometimes kids just learn more from people who aren’t their parents. They’ll be getting that extra help from someone who hasn’t seen the homework before and is maybe a little more patient with them.”