Daleville City Council approves facility for after school program

Daleville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Stamps and concerned parent Joel Adams spoke to the Daleville City Council on Monday, Nov. 18 at the work session about the progress being made toward bringing a Boys and Girls Club to Daleville.

Stamps told the council about several visits with the Eufaula Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and meetings with BGCA officials, city officials, community leaders as well as surveying parents.

The BGCA mission is to enable children to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Under this program, children will be under the guidance of professional staff members who will help empower them to excel both in and out of school and help guide them on their path to a great future.

According to Stamps the BGCA program model is very structured.

“It is a really very structured program, it is not an after school day care. They call the first hour ‘Power Hour.’ During Power Hour students are signed in and go immediately to academics. They are doing reading and math following the academic programs of the school— using the same text books. It is very rigorous that first hour with homework and additional instruction. They have certified teachers and tutoring,” Stamps said. “The Eufaula program reports increased math scores from having this program in place.”

According to Stamps academics isn’t the only focus.

“They have athletics, arts, dance, 4-H, music, all different kinds of activities. They also have a resource room with a library and computers,” Stamps said.

According to the assessment sent out at Windham Elementary, parents are interested.

“We did a needs assessment for all of our elementary school students and within four days we had received 109 assessments back from parents out of 630 students, some of those with multiple students,” Stamps said. “We know that there is a need; people are interested and it would fill a void.”

Mayor Jayme Stayton asked about about the safety of the students and the liability of the city.

Stamps and Adams said the next steps are securing a facility, opening a bank account and fundraising.

“We need a building, a facility for this club to operate. What we are looking at is a city building located at 500 Donnell Blvd, commonly known as the Boy Scout Hut. This is a building that is currently not in use,” Adams said. “We are looking to use that building, but there needs to be some work done on it, interior and exterior. This is a program that will benefit the community.”

Repairs are planned for the building pending the insurance claim after a recent vandalism.

“It needed some paint and some minor repairs and now we need some windows and doors. The city was already planning to do that because it is our building,” Stayton said.

 “The after school program was there and I moved it back to the community center because of some safety issues,” Stayton said. “I just want to make sure that the BGCA is going to assume responsibility for anything. That the city has no liability in that.”

Plans were discussed for cleaning up the surrounding property and eventually fencing the area for safety.

“I believe in getting community involvement because where there is community involvement, parent and stake holder involvement, people have a vested interest in it,” Stamps said. “I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and paint and do whatever. We are all willing to do whatever we need to do.”

“This is going to be something that is going to better this community. It is going to give our children opportunities unlike anything I believe they have ever had or anything that has been available for awhile,” Adams said. “We need to raise $20,000-$30,000, that is just so they can see that we mean business.”

Stamps said a letter is ready for donation requests once the bank account is set up.  

There are multiple agencies Stamps is looking at applying for grants from, but Stamps is also looking for community support.

According to Adams, the age range for this program would be six to 13 year olds.

Stamps said, if all criteria are met, the program could start as soon as Summer 2020.

In the regular city council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19 the council unanimously approved allowing the BGCA use the building at 500 Donnell Blvd. commonly known as the Boy Scout Hut.

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