Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 2, 2012

B&GC taking kids on first-come, first-served basis

TAHLEQUAH — For students coming off summer break and looking to return to a positive place after school, the Tahlequah Boys & Girls Club will begin Wednesday, Aug. 15, the first day of classes.

Students will be taken on first-come, first-served basis, so students need to attend sign-up day Monday, Aug. 6, to ensure their spots in the program, said B&GC Chief Professional Officer Janice Randall.

“We have always taken every child who applies, and this year we’re going to have to start with a limited number because Tahlequah Public Schools lost its 21st Century grant,” Randall said. “We have the same funding since we started the program, but the only thing is, we started with 100 kids at each site. Now we have about 250 per school. At Greenwood [Elementary], there were 265 a lot of days.”

The increased number of kids means if B&GC doesn’t get some additional funding, further limitations may be imposed.

“The money goes to supervising kids, and we have to have staff to supervise the numbers we’ve been having,” Randall said. “That’s why we’re trying to get a sales tax [question included on the next ballot].”

Sign-up day is at the club office, 400 W. Morgan, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Representatives from each TPS campus site will be on hand to accept the first 15 students per school. Another 15 students per school will be accepted during summer socials at each campus, Monday, Aug. 13, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“This is just for the city schools. The rural schools are doing their own signups,” said Randall. “The month of August, we’re going to see how many [students] actually stay each day. If they stay every day, we’d be full. Until our numbers are regular, we don’t know how much staff to hire.”

If the program is full this year, B&GC will be eyeing a tax issue to procure needed funding. Club officials have been gathering signatures from people living within the Tahlequah city limits, and ultimately, those will be presented to the Tahlequah City Council as part of a request to get a sales tax issue on the ballot.

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

“We’re constantly looking for funding. We’re going to have a petition for people living in the city limits to sign,” said Randall. “You have to have 500 signatures, but they need to be registered voters who live in the city limits. If that happens, it’ll go to the city council, and if we can show there’s a need, we would like get it on the ballot.”


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