Boys & Girls Club kids

Redlands kids are having fun safely thanks to the Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside staff are busy giving kids enriching and fun things to do this summer – in a COVID safety-compliant environment.

The Club reopened for children from working families on May 26. In June, the Club opened to a limited number of youth for day camp, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. There are openings for more kids.

Twice a week, the kids go to the Burrage Mansion in Redlands for physically-distanced outdoor activities like water games and yoga.

At the Club, kids have been participating in a competitive reading program in which they build their literacy skills and win prizes, using books donated by UPS Stores. They have also entered a poster contest put on by the city of Redlands, the Rochford Foundation, Citrograph Printing, and the Redlands Chamber of Commerce and a coloring contest put on by Inland Southern California United Way.

The Club has continued to offer its Family Support program, which the organization started in late March. Members’ families can still sign up to pick up a bag of groceries, courtesy of the Club’s partnerships with Inland Harvest, Feeding America, Family Service Association of Redlands, Cost Plus World Market, and iHerb. Groceries have included fresh produce, weekly staples, and meal gap services.

Grants from the Anthem Foundation, Green Foundation, United Way, Stater Bros., Molina Healthcare, Kiwanis Club of Redlands, Inland Empire Community Foundation, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America helped fund the Family Support Program.

“We’re glad we’ve been able to evolve to offer whatever services we can to our kids and their families during this challenging time,” said Club senior vice president Mark Davis. “We’re looking forward to serving more kids, especially those who need us most during this unprecedented time for our communities. We’re also grateful to the Rochford Foundation for giving our kids a safe, fun place to play this summer.”

During spring school closures, the Club offered virtual programming and age-appropriate activity bags and books for members. The Club will plan to fill learning gaps once it is clear how the school year will be run.

Safety measures for youth coming to the Club include daily temperature checks, health screening questions, face coverings for everyone in the building, regular hand washing, social distancing, and a lower staff-to-youth ratio. All Club program and administrative staff have been tested for COVID-19.

“Boys & Girls Club is striving each day to do whatever it takes to build great futures,”  Kate Salvesen, vice president of resource development, said.

Day camp costs $120 a week per child, plus $25 annual Club membership. Partial scholarships are available. Summer camp is scheduled until Aug. 7, but may be extended. The Club will have programs into the fall. —Joy

Posted: July 15, 2020

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