Construction Underway For First High School Only ‘Boys & Girls Club’

DES MOINES, Iowa – For the first time, the Boys & Girls Club of central Iowa constructs new location catering to only teens.

The ‘E.T. Meredith Jr. Boys & Girls Club’ is designed to focus its educational efforts on only high school students.

Chief Executive Officer for the Boys & Girls Club of central Iowa Jodie Warth said, “These are the kids that need us the most. This is a community that needs us the most and that’s where we purposefully locate our club sites in areas that need us most. In areas that don’t have other out of school learning types of activities that we can pull them in and give them adult caring supportive role models.”

The new location is adjacent to East High School at 1421 Walker Street.

The facility will be able to hold up to 150 high school students.

Warth said after school the students will engage in a variety of educational activities like a STEM lab, culinary and preparing for college.

“We really want to make sure that we work on those soft skills so that they are employable. We sit down and have college and career readiness types of activities, so that we make sure that when they walk into that interview they are just as prepared as anyone else in this community that comes from a different zip code,” Warth said.

There will be teachers on staff to help students with classwork.

Warth said having a designated space for high school students is part of the organizations ‘club pathway’ campaign. Its goal is to create four paths throughout the Des Moines community and have a place for each phase in a child’s education.

In addition to after school activities, Warth said they want to keep the location open after Friday night football games.

“We will call it the fifth quarter I believe. Pizza, movies, gaming some of those things that we can give them an alternative to be here versus being somewhere else that they might get in trouble,” Warth said.

It costs $10 for a student to be enrolled in the club for a full academic year.

The project will cost around three point five million dollars to complete. Part of the cost will go into renovating their administration office location in the same building.

The ‘E.T. Meredith Jr. Boys & Girls Club’ will open January 2020. For more information about signing up call 515-242-7925.

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