Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

September 12, 2012

Tahlequah B&GC unique among programs

TAHLEQUAH — For her dedicated leadership and commitment to youth, Tahlequah Boys & Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Janice Randall received the 2012 Herman Prescott Award for the Southwest Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America recently at an awards luncheon in Denver.

Randall said the goal of the national youth development organization is to increase attendance and participation of club members, and for 16 years, she made that her mission.  

In the beginning, Tahlequah Public Schools helped Randall and the B&GC establish a format so kids could be a part of the club in a location where they feel comfortable and safe. Today, 13 Cherokee County schools share in the effort to ensure every child who walks through the club doors graduates from high school, with a plan for the future.

“[The Boys & Girls Club of America is] going to highlight our organization because of the partnership with our local school system,” said Randall. “That’s really why we’ve been successful. Our superintendents are all about Boys & Girls Club, and everyone in this community knows about Boys & Girls Club. They know what it does and have helped in some small way. It’s not just one thing, but the partnership with the schools. We did it in a non-traditional way, and now other people are following our lead.”

Because she was a regional winner of the Prescott Award, Randall became a finalist for the National Herman S. Prescott Award, to be presented at the 107th Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Conference next May.

Most B&CGs try to make the organization work from a location apart from a school campus. When the club opened its doors in Tahlequah, Randall approached TPS with a request to use district facilities to supervise and serve students before and after school.

“We did not have a downtown building at that time, and so we did a needs assessment. We already had a great relationship with Tahlequah Public Schools, so I went to them and said, ‘Could we use your buildings?’” said Randall. “They said yeah, because they’re already paid for by the taxpayers.”

Most clubs never did that.  

“We were one of the first, and that is why they’re giving us so much credit right now,” Randall said. “Not only do we use the school, but they provide the busing home for the students. They let us use the gym, the library, and the classrooms. Even now, other clubs are trying to get into schools, but they’ll just give them one room or the gym, and all the kids are thrown in there together.”

The goal of attendance and participation is two to three days, but the Cherokee County clubs have members who come five days a week, Randall said.

“Our kids are very consistent. They stay three days a week easily, and a lot of them stay five days a week,” she said. “But again, that’s because we’re there where they already feel comfortable, and the parents don’t have to take off work.”

The B&GC programs are accredited, and help kids with their homework, provide a nutritious snack, and offer physical activities. The parents pick them up or they can ride the bus home.

“And then nights and weekends, of course, we do all the sports programs,” Randall said. “We have youth football, the USA swim team, youth wrestling, youth basketball and youth baseball.”

The TPS clubs are now full and cannot accept any more members due to the limited number of supervisors and budget constraints. That’s never happened  until just recently, Randall said.

“Tahlequah Public Schools lost its 21st Century grant, which was $200,000 a year, and then they lost an Indian demonstration grant that was $300,000. A lot of that money was for the before- and after-school programs,” she said. “So that’s why we had to limit enrollment.”

No school got a 21st Century grant this year.

“We tried. Money’s tight,” Randall said. “We’ve always taken everyone who walks in the door. This was the very first year we’ve had to limit enrollment. It was hard for us to do, because we want to serve every child who wants to be there. We don’t want them to go home alone. We don’t want them to go where they’re unsupervised.”

The club will continue to hold fundraisers to help boost funds, but members have gathered 500 signatures to present to the Tahlequah City Council to ask for a sales tax question on the next voting ballot.

A quarter-penny tax to construct and run the new county detention center went off the books June 30, which dropped sales tax within the city limits to 8-3/4 cents on the dollar. That amount includes city, county and state taxes.

With the TPS clubs full, the B&GC board of directors will decide next week whether to present the signatures to the city, said Randall.  In the meantime, the club will look to raise money through its usual avenues.

“We always have a couple [of fundraisers] a year, and we always take donations. Even when we had our golf tournament and our chili dinners - in Tahlequah, if you make $5,000, that’s a lot of money, but it’s a drop in the bucket to what we need,” she said. “We just don’t want to limit our enrollment. People have been very understanding, and people are coming in with ideas. We’re looking for other grants and foundations to [help in any way they can].”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man stable after crash

    A 57-year-old Tahlequah man was listed in stable condition Sunday evening after a crash on Old Toll Gate Road in northern Cherokee County.

    July 22, 2014

  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Stocks