Men's Breakfast Report, April 2014

The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, April 12 with Matt Way, director of the Freeport Boys and Girls Club.  Matt was born in Munday, Texas but came to Brazosport as a young child when his father, a Baptist preacher, came to Brazosport to pastor a church.  Matt attended and graduated from Brazosport Christian School.  He got a degree in kinethesiology and  planned to have a teaching and coaching career.   When a position in the Boys and Girls club opened up he took it because he felt it was a better way to give back to the community.  He worked first at a school-based site and recently took over as the director of the traditional Freeport Boys and Girls Club. 

The Boys and Girls Club has two types of operation.  The first is the ACE program.   In this program clubs are set up in schools, primarily elementary and middle schools.  This program emphasizes academics with the main activity being helping students with their homework.   The program is funded by federal grants and the staff is primarily teachers.  The program is free to the students and parents and there is a waiting list.  If a student does not attend or work, the student is often asked to leave to make room for another student. 

The second program is the traditional Boys and Girls Club.  This is located in a former school in Freeport.  It enrolls elementary and junior high students.  In the past, high school students were included, but with a lack of space, they were dropped from the program.  Matt plans to again enroll high school students when ongoing renovations are complete. The primary activities are athletics, especially basketball, and games.  Study and homework help is also provided.  This program uses a mix of paid and volunteer staff.  Unlike the4 ACE program, attendance is purely voluntary and students can come and go.  Parents are charged $25 per semester per child to be in the program plus $15 for the summer program.  Matt has not yet turned away students who have not paid, but it may be necessary in the future.  There was discussion in the Men’s Breakfast Group about setting up scholarships for students who could not afford to pay. 

The program has used Americorp Volunteers in the past as part of the staff, and would like to again.  This depends on the vagaries of federal funding and provision of a suitable place for the volunteers to live. 

The program is funded from various sources.  The club holds fundraisers twice a year.  It is also a United Way agency and gets money from United Way.  It gets federal grants, especially for the ACE program. 

The men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast.  The next meeting will be Saturday, May 10th.