April 8, 2013 9:26:32 AM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
The Columbus chapter of the Boys and Girls Club is celebrating National Boys and Girls Club week with week-long festivities.
Nadia Dale, director of the local club, said she is excited about the week ahead.
"I'm excited to have this opportunity to showcase the club and to celebrate being a part of such a long legacy of providing a fun and safe place for kids,'' said Dale, who took over as director in October. "The staff and I have worked very hard to plan fun and educational events for our members -- from an academic trivia bowl to our character and community discussion with mayor Smith and other community leaders to our day-of-service event at the Windsor Nursing Home."
Dale said she is especially looking forward to Friday's open house, where members of the community and parents interested in the club can take a tour of the facility.
"We're most eager about the club's open house because it gives us a chance to make the club more accessible to potential members and their families as well," Dale said.
Since she took over as director, Dale has focused on offering a wide variety of programs and boosting enrollment.
"We've seen a steady increase in our enrollment, especially after spring break. I think this is mainly because of the good word-of-mouth about all the fun we're having," Dale said. "Members and parents are having good things to say about their experiences with the club and they're telling friends. That's really helping us stay alive."
During spring break, Dale said the club offered programs to keep the students entertained while educating them at the same time.
"Our Spring Break Spirit Week was great," she said. "Members had a blast during our Silly Sock Day at Skate Zone, Nerdy Thursday at Bull Dawg Lanes and College Team Day at Chucky Cheese. We also had lots of fun programs inside the Club -- from our Smart Moves Sock Puppet show (hosted by the older members for the younger members) to our Hat Day Dance Off," she said.
Dale said she is encouraged by the support the club receives from the community and local churches and hopes that continues throughout the open house.
"The greatest thing for me, though, was seeing the generosity from the community supporting us that week," she said.
She added that during open house, parents can register their children for the club's summer program.
"We want to welcome youth groups, volunteers and/or potential parents to participate our BGC Week events on Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Friday," she said. "This will be a good time for parents to speak with our staff about our summer registration. Our enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a deadline on May 1.
"We encourage parents to register their kids right away as slots for the summer are filling quickly. We have many exciting plans for the summer, including several fun and educational field trips in the surrounding area -- including Birmingham, Jackson and Atlanta.
"We hope to provide much needed exposure to as many as 160 youth this summer."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.