Aliquippa School District bringing first Boys & Girls Club to the community

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — It’s a project decades in the making, the only hold up to opening a Boys and Girls Club in Aliquippa was the space.

“This divider goes across and there’s a whiteboard on it. It’s in different pieces but what I envision is there will be opportunities for a large group activity setting and then some small teen outreach programs that will need to be divided,” said Aliquippa Superintendent Dr. Phillip Woods.

The school district is now stepping in to open its doors to create a club in this school. It’s a first of its kind inside an actual school.

“We won’t have to go fish out candidates, they are here. This is a space they are comfortable in and have good access to,” Woods said.

The club will be broken up into two parts with one major competent being an after-school program and summer learning. Breaking a huge barrier for working parents to get their kids off the street.

“If you are in athletics or music programs, you also have a segregate separate family because you have a group and coaches you are always with, this can fill that void for students who are not musically and athletically inclined,” Woods said.

With access to computers, the gym and the library, there are opportunities for growth. The second side of the programming will be teen outreach during the school day for high schoolers.

“There’s been a couple issues related to bullying just confrontations. Social media is a huge challenge so if we can educate our students on how to manage conflict without always resorting to violence,” Woods said.

Dr. Woods feels it’s only a benefit to students’ overall well-being and while the program will start small he hopes it grows in time.

“If you come to school and your mind is on something not educational related it’s going to be hard to tap into the lesson and follow along,” Woods said.

The official ribbon cutting will be at 3 p.m. on Aug. 22.

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