With your support, Melissa knows her grandkids are learning and growing in a structured environment at the Clubs in Spring Hill
“I have to leave the house about 6:30 every morning and then it’s around 6:15pm when I get off. Everyone I know works. So if there wasn’t an after school program, I don’t know what I would do. I really don’t.”
Melissa works for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department, and is the sole caregiver for her grandkids, Layne and Ahlaeah. The kids attend Boys & Girls Clubs’ “Greatness Academies” at Marvin Wright Elementary and Spring Hill Middle.
“All of the staff have been really good to me and the kids. Ahlaeah loves Miss Kalienté because she does the SMART Girls program.”
Staff members in Spring Hill have begun what they call “Dress For Success Wednesdays.” Every Wednesday, they encourage their young male Club members to dress their best. The tucked-in shirts and belts represent the Club members’ integrity and good character. Club staff aim to serve as positive role models for the youth looking up to them. Layne is participating in the “Dress For Success” challenge every Wednesday, Melissa says.
“When he gets up in the morning, he puts on his belt and his button down shirt. He really likes that program.”
Club programs such as SMART Girls and Passport 2 Manhood teach responsibility, self-esteem, and good character for young men and women.
“Layne got into a lot of trouble last year. This year, he’s only had one bad behavior mark and it was for talking, not for fighting,” Melissa says.
“They came from a really bad situation when I first got them. My daughter couldn’t take care of them anymore, and so I took them out of the situation,” she explained.
Melissa is among the many families who receive “financial aid” from the Club if they are unable to afford the full cost of the program. Thanks to generous gifts from Club supporters, Club staff are able to sit down with individual families to learn about their individual household situations, and offer a reduced or waived fee based on their level of need.
“I appreciate the fact that the Club has helped me financially because I have a really hard time, since I’m not receiving any child support and it’s just me. I really appreciate that,” said Melissa.
“The most important thing that the Club offers to my family is the help with homework. Last year, Ahlaeah was hiding some of her homework. She came home one day and had a month’s worth of math, and I didn’t know anything about it. The Club makes sure that she gets her homework done every day, and that way I have more quality time with them when they get home, instead of sitting down and spending two hours doing homework. That is very important to me, because it gives me time to spend with them.”
“The tutor, Ms. Ashley, is awesome. She works with both Layne and Ahlaeah. Ahlaeah has brought up her math grade a lot. Last semester she brought her math grade up from a C to an A, but her science went down to a D because she hasn’t found that happy medium yet. Ms. Ashley is helping her with her science now, and they’re trying to find that happy medium.”
“The kids are safe. This program is well-structured and focuses a lot on education, and I think that’s good for the kids. Even during the summer program, the Club includes academics so the kids don’t lose what they’ve learned throughout the school year. It really helps.”
“I like the summer program because they get to go on field trips and it is all included in the cost of the program. If I took them to do all the things that the Club does, it would cost me so much more.”
“The Club does a really good job with the kids. At the Club, I know that they are safe and taken care of, and that means more than anything. Thank you,” Melissa said.