Men's Breakfast Report, May 2010
The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, May 8 with Jeri Gibbs, board president of the Brazoria Boys and Girls clubs. Jeri is also acting director since the former director, Fay Beard, who has been a featured guest at our breakfast, is now working for the national organization setting up clubs throughout Texas.
The Boys and Girls Clubs operate two types of clubs for school age boys and girls. The one we are most familiar with is the freestanding club such as we have in Freeport. At this club the children can come and go at any time. The club has a study time for an hour right after school but then the children are allowed to play in the gym or do other things like crafts. The other type of club is located in schools. It meets after school and provides tutoring and extra study sessions, especially for at-risk students. Students do not have the option of when to come and go with this kind of club. There are several of these clubs in schools in Brazoria County.
The personnel at the clubs consists of volunteers and paid workers. The leaders at the schools are teachers who receive an extra stipend. Workers at the traditional club in Freeport are part-time except for the executive director who is a full-time employee. All workers, including volunteers, have to go through extensive background checks like those of public school teachers and volunteers.
The demographics of the students at the traditional club are about the same as that of Freeport. Many are latch-key kids whose parents work and some are homeless. About 300 children have signed up for the club. About 130 are regulars and about 30 will be present on any given afternoon. Brazosport ISD provides a bus to bring students from the schools to the club after school.
The United Way provides some of the funds to operate the clubs and the club accepts direct donations. Ninety-seven percent of the local donations remain with the local organization and only three percent goes to the national organization. The in-school clubs are financed primarily by grants for helping students at risk.
As usual, the men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast. The next meeting will be Saturday, June 12th.