In keeping up with the community problems we now face, it amazes me how soon people seem to forget. An answer to the cries of government funding cuts which makes it difficult for parents to afford a place for their child during the summer, the plea for a facility where children with too much free time can go during the summer hours and a program that will keep children from wandering the neighborhood already exists.
There is a place for children where all these questions can be answered. This place is known as "the club that beats the streets," the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.
We aren't just a summer program; we are a year-round program and we are not a day care center. We provide a structured program that allows children to grow at their own pace. We are not a baby-sitting service either and are sometimes put into situations where we have to ask children to leave if babysitting is the service needed.
The Boys and Girls Club is for all children ages 6-18. Our summer program will run from June 4 to Aug. 17. We will offer daily arts and crafts, game tournaments, sport activities and special trips for activities such as miniature golf, skating, bowling, game arcades and swimming. We will also provide educational activities and trips to museums, factories, the Capitol, the zoo and much more.
It sounds like a lot of fun and excitement, but how much does this cost? A big $5 for the entire summer! This isn't a special fee or discount price. This is our regular membership fee.
We are fortunate to be a United Way agency which makes up 65 percent of our budget. The rest comes from fund-raising events, foundations, recycling efforts and generous contributions from individuals and businesses. The bulk of our summer program is funded by a contribution from the Breakfast Optimists Club.
Our programs are defined as an interpersonal relationship between our members and our staff. We get to know our members by name, talents, fears, strengths, weaknesses and all the other characteristics that make up a child. We could never take the place of the family, school or community, nor do we want to, but we can meet our members on their terms and help them learn to adapt to society's terms.
We will continue taking membership applications through Monday. For more information, contact the Boys and Girls Club or Lawrence, 841-6854. We are located at 1520 Haskell and our summer hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.