Boys Girls Club changes leadership

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

Following the sudden departure last Friday of their director, Jason Taylor, the Greenville-Butler County Boys and Girls Club has a new face at its helm.

The club’s interim director, Deatrice Williams of Montgomery, says she has stepped in to guide the club &uot;for as long as I am needed here.&uot;

Williams said one of her chief goals is to bring &uot;more diversity&uot; to the local club.

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&uot;We need to see a lot more of the 13- to 18-year-old kids here at the Boys and Girls Club. Right now, I think we only have one member who is a teenager. I know there are a lot of teenagers out there who need a place like this to come to on a day-to-day basis,&uot; the interim director said.

Williams, who has some 20 years of experience working with youth, said she plans to &uot;straighten out&uot; some problems that have cropped up since the facility opened this summer.

&uot;We are walking in newness here, but we are going to bring this club up to par,&uot; Williams said.

She noted reported problems with civic club meetings being disrupted by B &G C members &uot;would be stopped immediately.&uot;

The interim director said the back-to-school membership drive for the club would take place August 4 and 5.

There are 59 children and youth currently enrolled in the club’s summer program.

Williams said a &uot;great&uot; facility such as the one in Greenville should have much higher enrollment numbers.

&uot;We certainly would like to see our membership numbers grow. This is a fabulous facility – it’s much, much bigger than one of our Montgomery clubs that has 200 members,&uot; Williams said.

One aspect of what the Boys and Girls Club offers that has not been addressed in Greenville, she says, is their mentoring program.

&uot;We look for college-age individuals willing to commit 900 volunteer hours at one of our clubs. They can become eligible for a scholarship, worth up to $4,500 to any college of their choice. These young people make wonderful mentors for the younger children and youth,&uot; Williams said.

Teenage club members can also make excellent mentors and tutors for the younger members, she adds.

The club offers age-appropriate programs in five core areas: education, prevention, sports and fitness, character and leadership and arts and crafts (including the visual and theatrical arts).

Williams said the club would have Internet services installed by the time school starts in the county.

&uot;We are also getting software which will help our high school students prepare for the exit exam. Our program is very, very supportive of education,&uot; she said.

&uot;We have something to offer every age group in terms of both recreational and educational pursuits. There is a great deal of potential here to serve this community in a better way than we are now,&uot; Williams stressed.

The local club is actively looking for a new director who lives in the area, she says.

Anyone who is interested in applying for the position should stop by the Boys and Girls Club at Beeland Park. For more information, call Interim Director Deatrice Williams at 382-0799.