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Group trying to bring Boys and Girls Club of America program to Jennings

Last Modified: Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:01 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — The former James Ward Elementary School could soon become the home of a proposed Boys and Girls Club of America.

Jeff Davis Parish Police Juror Milford Reed Jr. is spearheading efforts to bring the program to Jennings. He and other community leaders want to meet with Greg Kimbrough, a director of organizational development for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, in November to map out a course for starting a club in Jennings.

“We’ve had the Big Brothers Big Sisters program here, but we’ve never had a Boys and Girls Club,” Reed said. “It would be a good program to bring to the area because they have so much to offer children from kindergarten to 18 years old.”

The club would offer tutoring and other educational programs, as well as recreation to youths during non-school hours and the summer, he said. Programs are also aimed at helping youth develop healthy lifestyles, leadership skills, and good character and citizenship.

“It is better for them to have something to do after school and during the summer because we don’t have a lot of things for our youth to do,” Reed said.

Reed hopes local leaders will be able to negotiate a long-term lease with the Jeff Davis Parish School Board to use the school, on Wilbert D. Rochelle Avenue, for the program. It would be suitable based on location, size and flexibility for youth programs, he said.

The building has been used in the past for youth recreation and summer feeding programs, but has been sitting dormant for the last year.

The closest Boys and Girls Club is in Lafayette.

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