DATE: June 14, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer, Albemarle County Public Schools, at 434-972-4049; or James Pierce, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, at 434-971-9401
Albemarle County School Board, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia in Partnership to Expand After-School Programming for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – At its meeting last evening, the Albemarle County School Board approved a 40-year lease with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia that could double the number of students who participate in the Club’s after-school program. Currently, 150 elementary and middle school students are enrolled in programs at Jouett Middle School and at the Club’s Cherry Avenue facility in Charlottesville.
The Boys & Girls Club, at its own expense, will build and operate a youth activities and education center of up to 35,000 square feet that will house a gymnasium, classrooms, computer lab(s), art room, game room, multipurpose rooms, outdoor recreation spaces, and a parking lot. The facility will be located on property adjacent to Jouett’s baseball field, and the building and its operations will be funded through donations to the Boys & Girls Club. The Club will lease the land from Albemarle County Public Schools for $1 per year.
“This is a much-needed expansion of after-school care opportunities for students, particularly those who do not now have such opportunities,” said Rosalyn Schmitt, the school division’s Chief Operating Officer. “It addresses four of the five objectives in our strategic plan,” she said. Those objectives include engaging every student, improving opportunity and achievement, creating and expanding partnerships, and optimizing resources.
The center is projected to open no later than the first day of school in 2021 and will be able to accommodate up to 500 students annually (300 daily) between the ages of 6 and 18. The program fee is $35 per year, and the Club offers scholarships to families in need.
Under the terms of the lease, Albemarle County Public Schools students and former students who have relocated to Charlottesville City Schools will have priority in enrolling in programs at the new facility.
“This new center especially will be a significant asset for students who attend our urban ring schools, including Agnor-Hurt, Woodbrook, and of course, Jouett, Greer and Albemarle,” Schmitt said. She added that the school division will provide transportation for Agnor-Hurt and Woodbrook students to the new facility.
The division currently operates an Extended Day Enrichment Program that offers after-school enrichment opportunities for elementary school students, but there often are waiting lists at several schools, and tuition can range up to $2,000 for a full year.
“We look forward to working with the school division’s leadership as highly responsible stewards of the public trust,” said James Pierce, the Club’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited that we soon will be able to serve 500 kids in a new state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to enhance their academic success and healthy lifestyles. It’s a wonderful demonstration of how the Club can be a catalyst in helping our community realize its full potential for supporting its young people,” he said.
Boys & Girls Club programs address such core personal development objectives as character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts and sports, and fitness and recreation. The Club’s after-school program includes homework and tutoring time, leisure reading, writing, robotics, team-building, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and games that develop cognitive skills. Through targeted outreach and mentoring, members identified by school personnel and Club staff as being academically at-risk may receive one-on-one tutoring.
“An Extended Day Enrichment program evaluation we did a few years ago suggested that the need for high-quality after-school programming is higher than what we could offer,” said Schmitt. “The timing of this agreement with the Boys & Girls Club could not be more beneficial. We look forward to working with the Club and its outstanding staff in expanding the number of children and families who will have access to services that align with our mission of establishing a community of learners and learning,” she said.