Griffin Rotary President Tom Gardner, Griffin Rotarian Lt. Tim Blevins (Salvation Army), Griffin Daybreak President Jackie Wilson, Griffin Rotary Grant Committee Chair Chuck Copeland.
The Rotary Clubs of Griffin and Griffin Daybreak presented the Griffin Unit of the Salvation Army with a check for $3,780 to fund three scholarships for deserving students to attend the Salvation Army’s Community Center for Boys and Girls After School Program. Partial funding for this project came from the clubs’ joint application for a 2017-18 Rotary 6900 District Grant.
The After School Program is available to children age’s six to twelve. There are currently 27 children enrolled in the program, which takes place each Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. during the school year. The center, which is licensed by the State of Georgia, consists of an air-conditioned and heated gym, classrooms, game room, youth hall with kitchen, outdoor playground, and large outside playing field.
The program provides academic tutoring services utilizing retired public school teachers and assistants. Academic progress of the participants is tracked with a software system called EasyCBM. They stress reading and math skills and utilize a modern computer lab. They also focus on more traditional areas, for example, they recently began teaching cursive handwriting. For the current school term they have added a new math program for further enrichment and remediation called XtraMath.
The Community Center is located in one of Griffin’s most economically challenged neighborhoods and most of the after school program’s participants come from within a close radius of the facility. If not for the after school program many of these children would go home to an empty home, and surely receive little to no guidance with regard to their homework. The vast majority of the children in the after school program come from families whose incomes fall well within the 125% poverty level guidelines mandated by the CSB Grant. For the 2016-17 school term virtually all of the program participants were on some form of full or partial, needs-based, scholarship. The greatest challenge the center faces with regards to enrollment is not need or capacity, but family resources for tuition.