The Transylvania Times -

Boys & Girls Club Summer Program In Full Swing – Brevard NC


One of the highlights of a field trip to the Carl Sandburg Home, Connemara, in Flat Rock was posing with and petting the champion dairy goats in residence. (Courtesy photos)

Academia may be taking a break these days, but not so much at the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.

There, children are learning while they're playing during the eight-week summer program now in full swing.

There are classroom sessions for such activities as Brain Gain, an academic learning program, and DEAR, a program to encourage reading whose acronymic name stands for Drop Everything and Read.

Then there are all kinds of outdoor activities around the Gallimore Road clubhouse, from ball games and running exercises to cultivating the club's quarter-acre garden in what's called the Harvest Project, which already yielded some 500 pounds of produce.

The programs are designed not only to get the children into the sunshine and fresh air but to also teach them cooperation skills and good sportsmanship.

And for shear enjoyment, there are the field trips.

The club's staff members take the children swimming at local pools and to the movies at the Co-Ed Cinema in town.

They go fishing at Connestee Falls, hike in our local forests and pet the goats at the Carl Sandburg Home.

"It's a well-rounded program, not just a safe place to spend summer days," said Candice Walsh, the club's executive director. "It's designed to help build character and ensure these kids grow into good citizens for our community."

The children, from 6 to 16, keep the club's 30 full- and part-time staffers hustling from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Activities started June 20 and will end Aug.12. Each year there are long lines of parents anxious to enroll their offspring.

This year, the club registered 385 and average daily attendance is running 210, well above last year. Aside from all the activities, the children receive two meals a day.

The temperature was in the 80s this day, so a welcome activity was munching on cold watermelon slices under a tree behind the club. Pictured are Jenny Reynaldo-Cruz, 10; Leshay Norton, 11; James Perry, 11; Brandy Castro, 11, and Vashaun Clayton, 12.

The registration fee is kept low to make it affordable, so much of the expense comes out of the club's operating budget.

That is mainly supported by donations and grants, with the lion's share coming from local individuals, churches, organizations and businesses.

For instance, just last month Oskar Blues Brewery's Can'd Aid Foundation gave the club a $20,000 matching grant to equal the money the club raised with its Bent River Benefit Dinner.

The club's annual fund drive appealing to its loyal corps of donors – and new ones – is in progress now. This year's goal is $225,000 and the club has set up a number of ways for supporters to help. A popular one is to donate online at its website, bgc

There, you can click on "Donate" on the home page and charge it to a credit card.

Supporters may also mail a donation to the club at P.O. Box 1360, Brevard N.C.


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