By SEAN ROWLEY
Though dealing with budget constraints, the Boys & Girls Club of Tahlequah will again offer after-school activities and services for students of Tahlequah Public Schools who enroll in the program.
Janice Randall, chief professional officer for the B&GC, said the club is getting ready to start its new year.
“We will be taking an early enrollment and completing our enrollment during the Tahlequah Public Schools open house,” Randall said.
The early enrollment is Monday beginning at 5 p.m. in the central gym at the club office, 400 W. Morgan St. TPS has scheduled its open house, or “Summer Social,” for prekindergarten on Aug. 8, and for all other grades on Aug. 12.
“Our enrollment will be limited like it was last year,” Randall said. “We can accept a certain number of applicants per grade. However, enrollment of 4-year-olds is not limited, but costs $50 per month.”
Space is limited due to budgetary constraints. Randall said a waiting list will be established once full enrollment is attained.
“We depend on grants and donations for funding in our partnerships with schools,” she said. “I wish we didn’t have to limit enrollment, but without more funding coming in, that just isn’t possible right now.”
The B&GC will also hold an open signup for flag and tackle football on July 30 at 8 a.m. in front of Tahlequah High School. Flag football is for grades 1-2 and tackle is for grades 3-6. Those wishing to sign up must have birth certificates and be present at 8 a.m. to participate in the combine.
TPS Superintendent Lisa Presley said the Summer Socials are 4:30-6:30 p.m. at each school. At schools where B&GC enrollment is still open, a table will be available for signup.
“The Summer Socials are an opportunity to meet our teachers,” Presley said. “Students who do not already have their class schedules may pick them up, and also pick up Johnson-O’Malley supplies.”
High school students may pick up their schedules in the administration building at THS in early August. Seniors may visit at any time on Aug. 5, juniors on Aug. 6, sophomores on Aug. 7, and freshman orientation is 9-11 a.m. on Aug. 8.
Saying TPS shared the concerns of B&GC about its budget, Presley said the club and schools are inseparable.
“The club is part of us, and I just don’t know how we would operate without its after-school programs,” she said. “We want a safe and caring learning environment for our students and the Boys & Girls Club helps us do that.”
Presley said TPS always works with B&GC to bring services to the maximum possible number of students.
“Many students need someplace to go after school, and we are so happy that we can help provide that,” she said.
“We are able to transport them after school, provide a snack. They can work on homework or get some tutoring. They can be under the supervision of caring adults until their parents get home in the evening.”
Randall asked people in the Tahlequah area to consider donating to the B&GC, which operates throughout Cherokee County. The club is planning a fundraiser on Nov. 2 at the Cherokee County Community Building.
“All donations go to services for the kids,” she said. “Every penny goes toward allowing more kids to enroll. Each person we can hire allows us to supervise another group of 10 or 15. We want to serve every child we can.”
Those with questions about the B&GC may call Randall at (918) 931-2031.