Jackson Co. Boys & Girls Clubs feel economic squeeze - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. Boys & Girls Clubs feel economic squeeze

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – After school programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs in Jackson County are dealing with the possibility of more cuts. And board members say that could mean some programs and services will have to be dropped. 

Kristopher Elly enjoys the after school fun at the Boys and Girls Club in Gautier.

"I like football, the games, power hour, and soccer ball," Elly said. 

Lauren Packer also loves to hang out at the club. 

"We get to go on field trips, have fun with our friends, and get to get along with friends. I don't really learn that at school," Packer said. 

There are four Boys and Girls Clubs in Jackson County, and they aim to provide educational and social opportunities for 1,200 children annually.  Board Member Todd Trenchard said while he's happy so many young people come to the clubs, he's worried about keeping programs going as donations and grants are decreasing. 

"A lot of our funding does come from the state level. When the state is in trouble, there may be some cuts there," Trenchard said. "I don't think you can just pinpoint it just on grants; it is individual contributions, corporate contributions." 

Trenchard said the Boys and Girls Clubs' budget has been cut nearly 30 percent, but keeping kids off the street and providing good role models for these kids are more important than ever.

"The Boys and Girls Clubs help build character in our young children. We always like to say that it is easier to build a child instead of rebuilding an adult," Trenchard said. 

The Boys and Girls Club teachers say as long as the doors are open, they'll continue providing values and education to each one of the young people. 

To help fund the programs at The Boys and Girls Clubs, the organization holds a golf tournament every year. The event is this Saturday at 8am, at Gulf Hills in Ocean Springs.  For more information or if you would like to donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs, call (228) 762-3497. 

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