Written by Larry Wayne
Last year, the Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Monroe Area made the decision to form a strategic alliance with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region. On January 1, 2018 the Monroe Area Clubs became Boys & Girls Club of the Ocoee Region - Monroe County Units, representing the northern operations (Bradley, Meigs, and Polk County units are part of the southern operations). The goal of this merger was to strengthen both organizations through consolidation of operations, and allow them to expand staff opportunities. The primary objective is, and always has been, to focus on better serving the kids through our region.
So what have we accomplished thus far in the Monroe Units? Across all Club units, our average daily attendance for September was 319 kids served. This represents an increase of over 70% over this same time last year. This increase is attributed to our tremendous staff, volunteers, our increased community partnerships, and reduced fee structure for after-school and summer programs. In fact, the Vonore and Teen Center Units have reached their capacity! The Board of Directors are exploring options to expand capacity so as to allow our Clubs to serve more kids in both after-school and summer programs.
In addition to better serving our community, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region - Monroe County Units have turned a part-time position at the Sweetwater Unit into a full-time position. A full-time Unit Director was added for Vonore and the Madisonville Teen Center hired an Assistant Unit Director. Staci Dean, Director of Northern Operations stated, “You can feel the excitement in the air at all our units. We are truly motivated to create an environment of fun and learning for all our kids.” Beyond added staff, the Monroe units improved its technology capabilities at all Club locations and is currently implementing more programs that make attendance at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region more fun, more educational, and more responsive to our kids’ challenging school requirements.
The stated goal of Boys & Girls Clubs has always been to serve more kids. The Monroe Unit Board Chairman, Joe Crabtree stated, “The merger has made a positive impact in our ability to accomplish the mission of better serving our kids and has made perfect business sense.” As we continue to grow, as part of the overall Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region, we want to thank businesses, community partners, and all who have contributed to the Monroe units for the tremendous support you have provided.
We are so excited about the future of serving our youth in this region. We will continue to deliver programs that provide them with the tools for academic success, specialized educational programs, leadership growth, and character development. Our aim is to continue to equip our kids with the essentials necessary to make wise life choices and promote healthy lifestyles.