The Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens, Inc., have opened two new satellite club locations in partnership with Athens-Clarke County Government and Athens Housing Authority.
The new sites at Parkview Homes and Broadacres will enable Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens (B&GC) to reach even more children, adolescents and young adults in the Classic City. Additionally, B&GC is partnering with the county to launch a new delinquency prevention initiative at the Clubs’ six locations to discourage children from joining gangs.
“This represents a true partnership and a community coming together to address the needs of our youth,” said B&GC President and CEO Robert Finch at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Sept. 21. “We are so grateful that the Athens Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens and our Mayor and Commission have banded together to provide resources so we can continue to provide a great future for our children.”
The new locations and initiatives were made possible from $2.9 million in funding awarded by Athens Clarke County in August, stemming from the federal American Rescue Plan Act passed in 2021. With the opening of the satellite clubs at Broadacres and Parkview, B&GC will serve upward of 1,900 students in Athens-Clarke County, up from about 1,500 currently.
In addition to the new sites, B&GC will use the funding to keep its locations at Rocksprings Community Center and Nellie B Community Center open, provide transportation to its clubs, and open the Joel E. Smilow Club and The Club @ H.T. Edwards on Saturdays.
“What we are doing here together is creating new community cornerstones in our young people,” said Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz. “What that will mean is a more prosperous community, a healthier community and a safer community.”
A longtime community leader, Athens Housing Authority Board Chair Valdon Daniel has helped champion the B&GC’s expansion into the Housing Authority’s neighborhoods over several decades. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Daniel reminded the audience of fellow community leaders how the partnership between B&GC and the Athens Housing Authority has been generations in the making.
“It’s important to remember this center was a seed that was planted that has been nurtured by this community to get here,” he said. “It takes everyone working together for the betterment of our youth.”
For more information, visit www.greatfuturesathens.com.